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Sponsored by the NESS Scholars Foundation

Samuel Jason Mixter was chosen President of the newly formed New England Surgical Society in 1917, just one year before he was elected President of the American Surgical Association. Born in Western Massachusetts in Hardwick (1855), he was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1875) and Harvard Medical School (1879). After serving as West Surgical House Officer at the Massachusetts General Hospital, he studied anatomy and the new science of microscopic anatomy in Vienna which he brought back to the Harvard Medical School Department of Anatomy. He soon changed careers and became surgeon at the Carney Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital and finished his surgical career as Chief of the West Surgical Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His anatomical skills and mechanical ingenuity made him a surgical genius and his innate honesty and sound judgment made him a great physician. He was the first in America to successfully resect a Zenker’s diverticulum of the esophagus, pioneered in Gasserian ganglion surgery and performed one of the first successful hypophysectomies. He helped to develop the new frontiers of abdominal surgery and was skilled in surgery of bones and joints, head and neck, breast tumors and pediatrics.

Dr. Mixter’s kind, gentle and hospitable nature was felt when he guided visiting surgeons, as well recorded by William Mayo, to operative clinics and staff meetings at the hospital and when his many guests shared the happiness of his home. His non-surgical interests had to do with life in the open air with sports, gardening, and breeding Guernsey cattle.

A rich and rewarding family life followed his marriage in 1879 to Wilhelmina Galloupe (1879) of Swampscott. The marriage was blessed with four sons, two of whom - William Jason Mixter and Charles Galloupe Mixter - were members of the New England Surgical Society as was his grandson, Charles G. Mixter, Jr., and is his great-grandson, Charles G. Mixter, III.

His loyalty to his country was demonstrated in World War I when, incensed by the German brutality, he left a life of complete retirement to join the Medical Reserve Corps. As a consultant he made numerous tours of the Eastern military camps. He remained in the Medical Reserve Corps, attaining the rank of Colonel one year before his death.

Dr. Mixter died in 1926, a scant year after the death of his wife. His life exemplified in all respects the qualities that our Society demands of its new members: “surgeons with the attributes of a gentleman, i.e., basic honesty, kindness, tolerance, equanimity, good manners and social consciousness.”

2019Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, Boston, MA
2018Keith D. Lillemoe, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
2017John G. Meara, MD, DMD, MBA, Boston, Massachusetts
2016Atul A. Gawande, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
2015Dorry L. Segev, MD, Baltimore, Maryland
2014Thomas H. Cogbill, MD, La Crosse, Wisconsin
2013Peter J. Deckers, MD, Farmington, Connecticut
2012Barry Mills, Brunswick, Maine
2011David B. Hoyt, MD, Chicago, Illinois
2010David H. Sachs, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
2009Atul A. Gawande, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
2008Lucian L. Leape, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
2007Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
2006Murray F. Brennan, MD, New York, New York
2005Patricia K. Donahoe, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
2004Irving L. Kron, MD, Charlottesville, Virginia
2003David L. Nahrwold, MD, Chicago, Illinois
2002Thomas J. Krizek, MD, Wesley Chapel, Florida
2001Glenn D. Steele, Jr., MD, Chicago, Illinois
2000John L. Cameron, MD, Baltimore, Maryland
1999Bernard Fisher, MD, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1998Paul S. Russell, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
1997Samuel A. Wells, Jr., MD, St. Louis, Missouri
1996M. Judah Folkman, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
1995Jonathan E. Rhoads, MD, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1994John E. Niederhuber, MD, Stanford, California
1993Thomas E. Starzl, MD, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1992Paul A. Ebert, MD, Chicago, Illinois
1991Lazar J. Greenfield, MD, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1990Professor Peter Morris, Oxford, England
1989Alexander Walt, MD, Huntington Woods, Michigan
1988F. Griffith Pearson, MD, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1987Joseph P. Vacanti, MD, Boston, Massachusetts
1986Martin Adson, MD, Rochester, Minnesota
1985Lord Rodney Smith, Marlow, England

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