Moody Medical Library

Academic Resources | Blocker History of Medicine Collections

Texas Surgical Society Papers

In 1914, a group of physicians led by Dr. James E. Thompson (1863-1927), UTMB’s first professor of surgery, met to discuss organizing a state surgical society. On March 6, 1915, the Texas Surgical Society held its inaugural meeting in Galveston where 21 members elected Dr. Thompson president of the organization. Dr. Thompson is considered the first doctor in Texas to limit his practice exclusively to surgery. In a letter written to prospective applicants, the first Secretary, W. Burton Thorning, clearly stated the organization’s goals:

Texas Surgical Society Logo
“It is the desire of those responsible for this movement that the proposed society typifies the highest and best and no other.”

From its inception, the object of the TSS has been to “stimulate and improve the science and art of surgery and to elevate the standards of the practice of medicine.”

In April 2015, the TSS celebrated its 100th anniversary in Galveston. The Texas Surgical Society’s select membership has included some of the world’s most renowned surgeons.