Neurosurgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center: 1956-2020

Christopher L. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The history of neurosurgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, is reviewed. Kemp Clark, MD, started the academic neurosurgical practice at Parkland Hospital in 1956. Clark developed a robust training program that required the resident to operate early. In 1972, the Dallas Veterans Affairs Hospital was added to the training program. Duke Samson, MD, became chair in 1988. He emphasized technical excellence and honest reporting of surgical outcomes. In 1989, Zale Lipshy University Hospital opened and became a center for neurosurgical care, and Hunt Batjer, MD, became chair in 2012. The program expanded significantly. Along with principles established by his predecessors, Batjer emphasized the need for all neurosurgeons to engage the community and to be active in policy leadership through local and national organizations. During his tenure, the pediatric neurosurgery group at Children's Medical Center Dallas was integrated with the department, and a multidisciplinary spine service was developed. In 2014, the Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute was established, and the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital opened. For 64 years, UT Southwestern Medical Center has been fertile ground for academic neurosurgery, with a strong emphasis on excellence in patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1856
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Dallas
  • history
  • Kennedy
  • neurosurgery
  • UT Southwestern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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