Advancing the
Science and Art
of Surgery
Since 1915

History of Texas Surgical Society

100 years ago the purpose and intention of the Texas Surgical Society was clearly stated by the first president of the Society, James E. Thompson, MD: “The object of the Society, ‘the advancement of the science of surgery’ must never be absent from our thoughts. Personal advancement and petty politics must have no place in our councils. Good work for the love of good work must be our motto. IF we reach toward these ideals and retain supreme faith in our possibilities and powers, nothing can prevent our growth into a dignified learned Society that will be a power for good in our own state and an object of admiration to our neighbors.

The first Secretary of the Society W. Burton Thorning in a letter to prospective applicants set the trajectory of the organization when he wrote, “It is the desire of those responsible for this movement that the proposed society typifies the highest and best and no other.

No class of men needs friction so much as physicians; no class gets less. The daily round of a busy practitioner tends to develop an egoism of a most intense kind, to which there is no antidote. The few setbacks are forgotten, the mistakes are often buried, and ten years of successful work tend to make a man touchy, dogmatic, intolerant of correction, and abominably self-centered. To this mental attitude the Medical Society is the best corrective, and a man misses a good part of his education who does not get knocked about a bit by his colleagues in discussions and criticisms.
– Sir William Osler

James E. Thompson, M.D.
First President
Texas Surgical Society