Pioneer Press: Surgical Renaissance in the Heartland

The golden era in American surgery, described by a young doctor practicing under innovator Owen Wangensteen at the University of MinnesotaHenry Buchwald was a young surgeon in the 1960s with a dream of what his career would look like.

“I yearned for a training program, an academic environment and institution for intellectual surgeons, where a surgeon could operate, completely care for the nonsurgical problems of his patients, conduct basic research, teach, and be an intellectual contributor to medical progress, and possibly even be a scholar,” Buchwald writes in his new book “Surgical Renaissance in the Heartland: A Memoir of the Wangensteen Era.”

Buchwald, 87, is professor of surgery and biomedical engineering and the Owen H. and Sarah Davidson Wangensteen Chair in Experimental Surgery Emeritus at the University of Minnesota. He was born into a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria. His father was miraculously saved from a concentration camp by a German commandant who was an Austrian-Hungarian army veteran of World War I, as was Buchwald’s father. When the family fled to New York City to escape the Nazis, young Henry’s English was hardly sufficient for first grade or even kindergarten.


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