- Welcome to the Department of Surgery
- UTHSCSA and the Department of Surgery historical timeline, including photos
- Dr. Arthur McFee's history of the Department of Surgery
- Dr. Arthur McFee's history of the Health Science Center
- Dr. Arthur McFee's history of the City of San Antonio in relation
to UTHSCSA and the Dept of Surgery
- July 12, 2004 lecture / presentation by Arthur McFee, MD, Professor Emeritus, UTHSCSA Department of Surgery (very large RealVideo file - 103mb)
- Past Chairs and Faculty
Founding Faculty Video Interviews (Briscoe Library)
All UTHSCSA founding faculty interviews — includes Dr. and Mrs. McFee, Dr. Root, Dr. Pestana, and many more.
Publications of historic note
Aust, JB. Presidential Address to the Southern Surgical Association, December 2000: Odyssey of an Academic Surgeon. (Ann Surg. 2001 May; 233(5): 597-602.)
Aust JB, McFee AS. University of Texas Health Science Center (Commentary). (Arch Surg. 2005;140:526-528)
McFee AS. Presidential Address to the Western Surgical Association: Lessons (Archives of Surgery May 2006)
J. Bradley Aust, MD, MS, PhD, Professor Emeritus
J. Bradley Aust, MD, MS, PhD, (1926-2010) the University's first Department of Surgery Chairman, graduated from the University of Buffalo Medical School in 1949, marking the beginning a remarkable medical and surgical career. Over the span of more than a half century, Dr. Aust accomplished an impressive and history-changing list of surgical 'firsts':
- 1st use of radioactive iodine 131 albumin for total blood volume determination (1950)
- 1st conceived of coronary artery bypass using internal mammary artery anastomosis to ligated left main coronary artery in the dog (1955)
- Femoral poplitial bypass with reversed sapheaous vein in US (1956)
- 1st to use flow-limited molecules D2O and antiryrine to estimate tissue blood flow (1956)
- 1st to produce tolerance to allergenic skin in adult mice using parabiosis of tolerant to non-tolerant mice (1957)
- Pioneered isolated perfusion cancer chemotherapy with first head and neck and first isolated liver perfusion (1959-60)
- 1st hemicorporectomy in the world (1961)
- 1st cadaver kidney transplant in Minnesota (1962)
- Proposed foreign antigen persistence as the requisite mechanism for acquired tolerance (1964)
- 1st described utero-siqmoidostomy as a cancer provoking technique for developing colon cancer at the site of the anastomosis (1966)
J. Bradley Aust, MD, PhD, the Dale H. Dorn Distinguished Professor of Surgery, died in the early morning of March 17, 2010. As founding chairman of the Department of Surgery of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Dr. Aust was critical to the growth and success of the Health Science Center, the University Health System and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. Please click here to read more about Dr. Aust and his important and historic contributions to the practice of surgery.
Building a strong foundation
Owen H Wangensteen, MD, Chief of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota from 1931-1967, stands firmly in the ranks of the 3rd generation of major surgical educators in this country. Halsted alone was the first generation; his trainees the 2nd; and a small group which included Owen Wangensteen, and others the third. He built, from very meager beginnings, an extremely formidable department producing more than thirty professors and several chairs.
Dr. Wangensteen's position in American Surgery is assured and memorialized in the Surgical Forum of the American College of Surgeons which he fostered and which bears his name.
Dr. Wangensteen is the professional grandfather of this department. He was indeed an individual to whom much of the rigamarole of surgical education today would be foreign. Much of what he did was without guidelines, and without interference from agencies and committees; and much was good. An abiding aim in his thinking was that clinical problems could be successfully dissected in the laboratory and by investigation. He fostered much excellent research which helped to build the profession as we know it.
If Dr. Wangensteen was our professional grandfather, there were several professional fathers. From 1949 through 1958, our first department chair, J. Bradley Aust, MD, PhD, studied and trained under Dr. Wangensteen at the University of Minnesota, completing a surgical internship, residency, fellowship, and PhD in physiology, oncology and surgery. Recruited as our first Chair in 1965, Dr. Aust served more than 30 years as the founding anchor for a unique, stable and extremely successful department. During Dr. Aust's 30-year term as our Chair, all but one of his original faculty recruits remained here at the Health Science Center.
Growth has been a constant - the OR load in 1969 was 4500 patients annually; in 2003, annual OR patient load had reached 15,000. We are a level 1 trauma center covering nearly 50,000 square miles of the South Texas area.
The Aust Surgical Society
To honor our founding Chair, the J. Bradley Aust Surgical Society, an alumni organization, was created in 1968. It has become a very active group, providing travelling fellowships for residents, a resident library, book fund, and development of projects traditionally left to private venues.
Since its inception in 1966, the Department of Surgery of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio has trained more than 180 graduates in general surgery; more than half of these graduates have pursued surgical specialty careers. We anticipate a future of initiative, new ideas and continued growth.