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History of UTHSC Urology

The University of Tennessee was founded, initially as Blount College, in 1794 in Knoxville, Tennessee. About 120 years later, shortly following the Flexner report, five independent medical colleges located in Memphis joined together and in 1911 formed the University of Tennessee, Memphis Medical School. This first and only University of Tennessee Medical School has remained on the Memphis campus since its inauguration. Dr. George R. Livermore was appointed as the first University Professor of Genito-Urinary Diseases and Orthopedics (a rather unusual combination). Dr. Livermore apparently did his genitourinary training in Europe. Of interest, a local internist (Dr. Henry Rudner, Sr.) is said to have been the first to bring cystoscopy to Memphis having learned the technique while interning at Bellevue Hospital in New York in 1916 under Dr. Edward L. Keyes, Jr. Dr. Livermore continued as Chairman of Urology through 1944 without a formal urologic training program in place. However, although records are non-existent, apparently a few individuals were trained in urology with Dr. Livermore as preceptor. During his tenure as departmental Chairman, Dr. Livermore was active in national AUA politics and served as AUA president in 1933. The departmental name was changed from "Genito-Urinary" to "Urology" during or following World War I.

The Memphis Urologic Society was organized in December, 1924. Some of the initial members were Drs. J. Logan Morgan, Hubert K. Turley, Sr., D.S. McGown, John Ragsdale, O. P. Walker, Isaac Duncan and Thomas D. Moore. Of interest, this organization preceded the establishment of the Southeastern Section of the AUA by at least eight years. In 1932, the Memphis Urologic Society purchased one of the first resectoscopes and Davis-Bovie electrosurgical units. This unit was placed in the Baptist Memorial Hospital and in the City of Memphis (charity) hospital also known as the John Gaston Hospital.

The 1931 annual meeting of the American Urological Association was held in Memphis, Tennessee (the first and only time it has been held in Memphis). Memphis urologists serving as AUA presidents were Dr. George R. Livermore (1933), Dr. Thomas D. Moore (1951) and Dr. Samuel L. Raines (1964). The executive secretarial headquarters for the American Urological Association was located in Memphis under the direction of Dr. Thomas D. Moore for a period of three to five years during the late 1940's.

The Southeastern Section of the American Urological Association held its annual meeting in Memphis on three occasions; 1951, 1966, and 1979. Several Memphis urologists have been president of the Southeastern Section: Dr. George L. Livermore (1938), Dr. Hubert K. Turley, Sr. (1947), Dr. Samuel L. Raines (1955), Dr. Alfred D. Mason, Jr. (1962), Dr. Hubert K. Turley, Jr. (1974), and Dr. Fontaine B. Moore, Jr. (1985).

Urological Training Programs in Memphis

University of Tennessee, Memphis / Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Center / University of Tennessee Health Science Center

University of Tennessee, Memphis

In 1945, Dr. Thomas D. Moore became Chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. An official three-year urological training program was organized and the residency program was accredited. Dr. Moore had been a practitioner of urology in Memphis for several years prior to his appointment as Chairman. He had received his urological training at the Mayo Clinic. In order to fill the program initially, Dr. Moore arranged for trainees completing the Mayo Clinic program to spend six to twelve months in the UT Memphis program. It was said that Mayo Clinic residents were not given the opportunity to train in open surgery and this arrangement was considered a "win-win" proposition for both the residents completing the Mayo Clinic program as well as for Dr. Moore who needed senior residents to fill the upper levels of his program while junior residents were entering the three year program beginning in 1945. Records are incomplete; however, several Mayo Clinic residents completed six to twelve months of "post resident training" at UT Memphis. Some of those were Drs. Gordon W. Strom in 1946, Donald H. Pattison in 1947, Louis R. Devanney in 1955 and Dieter Kirchheim in 1956. This arrangement (between Mayo Clinic and UT Memphis) apparently continued sporadically from 1945 into the early 1960's.

Dr. Moore married the former Ruth Brown whose family owned a large portion of land known as "Graceland" on the periphery of Memphis. In 1939, Dr. Moore and his wife completed what was then a large home on the property and thereafter the property and the home were referred to as "Graceland". This home was eventually acquired by one Elvis Presley in 1957. Of course, it remains a Mecca to thousands of faithful and the curious who no doubt have little interest in or knowledge of its wartime construction by a former president of the American Urological Association who was the first Professor and Chairman of an accredited urological training program in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dr. Moore, with the stalwart and ever present assistance of Dr. Raymond F. Mayer, trained a total of 13 residents during his tenure as Chairman. The training was almost exclusively confined to the City of Memphis Hospital (John Gaston Hospital) and its associated charity clinics. For the most part, his trainees were successful practitioners in those financially secure years following World War II. Aside from the vicissitudes of beginning and maintaining a new accredited program (which undoubtedly is in itself a significant accomplishment) no major impact resulted from the UT Memphis program during these years. Dr. Moore served as president of the AUA in 1951 and prior to this maintained the executive secretarial office of the AUA in Memphis for several years. In fact, Dr. Moore's second marriage was to the secretary who carried out the day-to-day AUA activities in Memphis.

In 1955, Dr. Samuel L. Raines was appointed Professor and Chairman of the University of Tennessee, Memphis Urology Department and Director of the Urology Training Program. Dr. Raines continued as Chairman through 1969. He was greatly assisted in resident training by Dr. William H. Morse and subsequently by Dr. Raines' stepson, Dr. Albert W. Biggs. Resident training continued to be carried out primarily in the City of Memphis Charity Hospital. However, a resident rotation was eventually developed at the Baptist Memorial Hospital adjacent to the University of Tennessee campus. During Dr. Raines' tenure as Chairman a total of 28 residents completed the program. All 28 of these individuals became successful practitioners, mostly in the Mid-South. Dr. Albert W. Biggs was subsequently appointed as Chairman of the Department. Dr. Abdul A. Tawfik returned to his native Iraq and subsequently was killed in one of the numerous revolutions occurring in that area of the world.

Dr. Raines had achieved prominent status as a Memphis practitioner of urology prior to his appointment as departmental Chairman. During the 1950's and 1960's, Dr. Raines was a significant force in national AUA politics which culminated in his presidency of the AUA in 1964. Dr. Raines was also president of the Southeastern Section of the AUA in 1955. Dr. Raines resigned as departmental Chairman in 1969 and his stepson, Dr. Albert W. Biggs, was appointed as Chairman from 1969 through 1972.Biggs' tenure as Chairman was relatively brief due to his promotion in 1972 to the position of Vice Chancellor of the University Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. During his chairmanship, a total of six residents completed the program, all successful practitioners in the Mid-South region. Although records are incomplete, Dr. Biggs was probably the first full-time Professor of Urology at the University of Tennessee. All of his predecessors apparently relied upon private practice income rather than a university salary. Dr. Biggs was assisted briefly during his chairmanship by a full-time Assistant Professor, Dr. Harold P. McDonald, Jr.

Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Center

The history of the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Center in Memphis and its separate urological training program is somewhat unique. The first general medical surgical Veterans Bureau hospital in the south was established in Memphis in 1921. This hospital, purchased for $859,000, was located at Crump and Lamar Avenues and on August 14, 1922 it became the 88th hospital of the Veterans Bureau. This hospital remained active until its closure in 1958. In 1943, the United States Army opened a 3,000 bed hospital in Memphis on Park and Shotwell Streets. This hospital, which was made up of 128 buildings was named for Brigadier General James Kennedy, a distinguished army surgeon and veteran of the Spanish American War. Shotwell Street was immediately renamed "Getwell" street to avoid harming the morale of the wounded soldiers. As the war ended in 1945, the hospital had a census of 6,000 service men. The facility had accumulated a distinguished group of medical personnel with Dr. Michael Bowers as Chief of Surgery. On July 1, 1946, Kennedy Army Hospital was transferred to the Veterans Administration and was known for several years as the "VA Medical Teaching Group Hospital". This Teaching Group Hospital was the only VA Hospital (with the possible exception of the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Chicago) to carry out a full teaching program (residency programs) without medical school affiliation. Affiliation with the University of Tennessee, Memphis was finalized in July of 1961 for medicine and surgical services, but was not affiliated with the UT Memphis Urology Program until 1968. This Kennedy VA Administration Hospital was closed in 1967 with the construction of a new Veterans Administration Medical Center adjacent to the UT Memphis Medical School campus. The VA Medical Center Teaching Group Hospital provided for a three year urologic residency commencing in 1946. These VA residents were provided some rotations in the City of Memphis Hospital, but for the most part their training was confined to the Veterans Hospital. A total of 21 urology residents were trained in this program before its merger into the University of Tennessee, Memphis Program. Many of the early residents were general medical officers recently discharged from active duty at the conclusion of World War II.

In 1968, with the appointment of Willis P. Jordan, M.D. as Chief of Urology at the new VA facility adjacent to the Medical School, the independent VA Urologic Residency was phased out and merged with the UT Memphis Urologic Residency Training Program. Compiling a list of residents training in the independent Memphis VA program has been a major task in that records from the Kennedy VA Hospital are non-existent. From recollections of the urologic technician stationed at the Kennedy Army Hospital who subsequently remained as a urology technician for the Kennedy VA Hospital and scattered records, the accompanying list of urologists trained at the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Center Urology program was generated.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Dr. Clair E. Cox from Bowman Gray University was appointed Chairman in 1972 and continued in that position until 1999. Dr. Cox trained at the University of California, San Francisco. Early faculty members, along with Dr. Cox, were Drs. William W. King, Peter J. Quinn, Gilbert A. Dale, Jr., Lynn W. Conrad, Richard M. Pearson, and Stephen W. Hardeman. Mark S. Soloway joined the department in 1975 and continued as Professor of Urology through 1991. At that time, he became Professor and Chairman of Urology at the University of Miami. Dr. Raymond F. Mayer returned to the University in 1979 from a successful private practice of urology and remained as a full-time Professor in the department until his retirement in 1989. During his tenure as Chairman, Dr. Cox trained 88 residents who all became board certified and remain in active practice, mostly in the southeastern portion of the United States.

In 1999, Dr. Cox resigned as Chairman and Dr. Mitchell Steiner was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology. Dr. Steiner resigned as Chairman in 2003.  Dr. Robert Wake served as interim Chair until his appointment in December 2004. Dr. Wake graduated from the University of Tennessee School of Medicine and after completing his urology residency at University of Tennessee, Memphis in 1990, he joined the Department as a faculty member.

Several residents have chosen fellowships following their training here at UTHSC Urology. Many have elected to pursue an academic career. The physicians below all hold academic appointments with The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Urology Department; Dr. Mark A. Williams previously served as Assistant Professor of Urology and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Urology at the University of Tennessee, Memphis prior to relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina. Also serving in Pediatric Urology are Dr. Gerald R. Jerkins, Associate Professor of Urology and current Chief of the Division of Pediatric Urology.  Dr. Dana W. Giel, Professor of Urology and the Pediatric Urology Fellowship Program Director. Dr. Anthony L. Patterson is a Professor of Urology at the University of Tennessee as well as Chief of the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Center Department of Urology and Dr. Robert W. Wake is Professor and Chairman at the University of Tennessee.  Dr. Christopher Ledbetter is Associate Professor of Urology at The University of Tennessee and the Residency Program Director as well as the Chief of Urology at the Regional One Medical Center.

Dr. Howard Goldman is Assistant Professor of Urology at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Seth Alpert is Clinical Associate Professor of Urology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Alpert serves as the Co-Director of the Surgical Neuromodulation Center as well as the Program Director of the Pediatric Urology Fellowship Program. Dr. Stephen LaCour is Assistant Professor at LSU Health Science Center. Dr. Stephen Canon is an Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Chief of the Pediatric Urology Division at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Reza Mehrazin is Assistant Professor of Urology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Matt Mutter is Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at LSU New Orleans and Dr. Lindsey Hartsell is Assistant Professor of Urology, Emory University School of Medicine.

Aug 10, 2022