About Us

Our Mission

To support the surgery residents of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

To connect the alumni and faculty of the UT Department of Surgery.

To further the lifelong journey of research and education in surgery.

Each year, the Society provides important funding for an annual scientific session, a visiting professor, awards for outstanding surgical residents, and festivities in honor of the graduating Chief Residents.

In addition, the Society provides surgical loupes to our residents each year. This equipment is necessary to the training and development of the surgery residents. The surgical loupes would be a considerable out of pocket expense for the residents, and we are proud to be able to assist in this purchase.

The Society

On May 19th, 1973, former University of Tennessee surgical residents gathered to honor Dr. Wilson (whom they referred to as their “Chief”). The day was meant to be a thank you to Dr. Wilson who had been the head of the Surgery Department since 1948. The first day of appreciation was attended by surgical leaders from across the country who came to honor Dr. Wilson. Nearly 200 former surgical residents, and current faculty and residents attended the first day of appreciation. The day included scientific presentations, a luncheon, and a dinner in Dr. Wilson’s honor. Over the years, the day of appreciation has evolved. The Harwell Wilson Surgical Society still celebrates and remembers Dr. Wilson’s contributions to surgical education, but, today the annual meeting is a time for current residents to present the results from ongoing research to their peers, a time for finishing Chief Residents to be honored, and a time for former residents to come together and reminisce about their time as a surgical resident at the University of Tennessee. Today, there is a distinct focus on helping the current residents through the challenges involved in current surgical residency training. With this goal in mind, in 2001, the Harwell Wilson Surgical Society became a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. By doing so, the HWSS maintains its independence from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and it allows for tax deductible donations. The HWSS endeavors to support the current residents, to maintain the history and traditions associated with being a Surgery Resident, and to bring together alumni for the benefit of the residents and for each other. Please feel free to contribute in any way that you feel is appropriate to help the HWSS meet its goals going forward.

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Members of Harwell Wilson