Tickets now available to hear world-renowned burn surgeon

Basil A. Pruitt, Jr., M.D., to discuss life-saving innovations developed at San Antonio’s burn care, research center

Basil A. Pruitt, Jr., M.D., FACS, will be the guest speaker on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, which is in the Briscoe Library on the campus of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

The evening’s program will explore a significant chapter in San Antonio’s history – the treatment innovations developed at the Army Burn Center that have revolutionized care and improved the survival of massively burned patients.

The public is invited to attend this special presentation by an internationally recognized burn expert. For information about attending the dinner, call Susan Hunnicutt, special projects librarian, at 210-567-2406. Reservations are required by Nov. 1. Cost is $55 per person and $30 per student.

The annual dinner and presentation begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at Old San Francisco Steak House, 10223 Sahara St.

Dr. Pruitt is a clinical professor of surgery, the Betty and Bob Kelso Distinguished Chair in Burn and Trauma Surgery, and the Dr. Ferdinand P. Herff Chair in Surgery at the UT Health Science Center. He also has been professor of surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences since 1978.

Dr. Pruitt earned his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. He began his surgical residency at the Boston City Hospital, but in 1959 he was drafted and began a lifelong affiliation with the Army’s burn center when he was assigned to the U.S. Army Surgical Research Unit at Fort Sam Houston.

Following a tour in Vietnam, where he served as chief of professional services at the 12th Evacuation Hospital and chief of the trauma research team, Dr. Pruitt returned to the burn center now called U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research as commander and director – a post he held for 27 years. He retired from the Medical Corps in 1995 and now serves as a consultant to the institute.

Dr. Pruitt has served on 11 editorial boards, including associate editor and editor of the Journal of Trauma for 37 years and retains the title of editor emeritus. He also has served on the NIH Surgery, Anesthesia, and Trauma Study Section; the V.A. Merit Review Board for Surgery, and the Shriners Hospitals Research Advisory Board.

He is a senior member of the American Board of Surgery. He has authored and co-authored more than 440 published papers, 172 textbook chapters, and 13 books and monographs. He presently serves on the board of directors of the American Trauma Society and the National Trauma Institute.

P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library — San Antonio physician and historian Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon lent his name to what is now a treasure-trove of antiquarian texts, dating from the 15th to the early 20th century. Ophthalmology, surgery, and anatomy are particular strengths of the Nixon Library. Also contained within the Special Collections are classic European and early American first editions, such as Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing and Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. A number of magnificent anatomical atlases feature illustrations that qualify as works of art in their own right.

Originally donated to the Health Science Center in the early 1970s by the Bexar County Medical Society, the superb core collection has expanded to contain close to 5,000 volumes of treasured medical texts, including important works by Vesalius (De Humani Corporis Fabrica – 1543), Albinus (Tables of the Skeleton and Muscles of the Human Body – 1749), Celsus (De Medicina – 1481), Avicenna (The Canon of Medicine – 1486), Burton (Anatomy of Melancholy – 1632), and Hooke (The Micrographia – 1667).

Tours of the Nixon Library, including viewings of rare books within subject areas, can be arranged by contacting Anne Comeaux at or (210) 567-2428. Selected materials from the Nixon Library also may be viewed online in the Portal to Texas History.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765.2 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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