Document Type



Oregon Health & Science University

Table of Contents

Biographical Information; Growing Up in St. John; Working the Mines in Kellogg, Idaho; Going to Medical School; Interning at Oregon; Joining the Army; J. E. Dunphy; Residency at UCSF; Dunphy and Tom Shires; Career As An Academic Surgeon; Joining the Faculty at UCSF; American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma; Coming Back to Oregon; OHSU As a Trauma Center; OHSU Administration; Academic Medical Centers; OHSU Practice Plan; Medical Education; Surgical Training; Future of OHSU; Future of Surgery; Public Relations and Politics; Reflections on a Career; Index


Donald Dean Trunkey, M.D., discusses his career as trauma surgeon, shares his impressions of prominent American surgeons, and describes changes in surgical education and practice from the 1960s to present. He recounts how he became interested in pursuing a medical career, how he came to the University of Oregon Medical School to take a rotating internship under the surgeon Dr. J.E. Dunphy, and then his residencies during the late 1960s and faculty experiences beginning in the 1970s. He comments on the administration of Oregon Health Sciences University and the OHSU Hospital and his own actions as a department chair. He talks about his contributions in the development of trauma surgery nationally, having served as Chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma during the 1980s. He ends by reflecting on the trends away from general surgery and toward specialization. Dr. Trunkey was born in Oakesdale, Washington on June 23, 1937 and raised in St. John, Washington. He was educated at Washington State College and the University of Washington Medical School (M.D., 1963). He completed a rotating internship at the University of Oregon Medical School, 1963-1964; surgical residencies at the University of California, San Francisco, 1966-1971; and fellowships at the National Institute of Health, University of Texas Trauma Unit, and Southwestern Medical School. Trunkey held faculty positions at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School, and University of California, San Francisco, before joining OHSU in 1986 as Chair of the Department of Surgery. He was also U.S. Army Colonel of both the 396th Evacuation Hospital, 1993-1997 and the 50th General Hospital, 1986-1993, and was on active duty service in Saudi Arabia during the first Persian Gulf War, 1990-1991. He was active as professor in the OHSU Department of Surgery after his chairmanship ended in 2001.


Transcript of oral history interview with Donald Dean Trunkey, M.D., conducted on June 21, 2005 by Richard Mullins, M.D.


OHSU Oral History Project




School of Medicine


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