The Henry Jacob Bigelow Medal was endowed by Dr. Bigelow’s son, Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow, in 1915, and first awarded to Dr. William J. Mayo in June, 1921.
The 2023 Bigelow Medal and Award Dinner are Sponsored by Olympus
BIGELOW MEDAL RECIPIENTS
BOSTON SURGICAL SOCIETY
1921 William J. Mayo Rochester, MN
1922 William Williams Keen Philadelphia, PA
1926 Rudolph Matas New Orleans, LA
1928 Chavalier Johnson Philadelphia, PA
1931 George Gray Turner London, England
1932 J.M.T. Finney Baltimore, MD
1933 Harvey Cushing Boston, MA
1937 Edward Archibald Montréal, Quebec
1941 Allen O. Whipple New York, NY
1946 Frank H. Lahey Boston, MA
1947 Elliott Carr Cutler Boston, MA
1951 Evarts A. Graham St. Louis, MO
1955 Edward D. Churchill Boston, MA
1956 Arthur W. Allen Boston, MA
1961 Clarence Crafoord Stockholm, Sweden
1964 Alfred Blalock (posthumous) Baltimore, MD
1964 Lester Dragstedt Gainesville, FL
1967 Charles B. Huggins Chicago, IL
1970 Robert Gross Boston, MA
1973 Francis D. Moore Boston, MA
1978 J. Englebert Dunphy San Francisco, CA
1982 John W. Kirklin Birmingham, AL
1986 Claude E. Welch Boston, MA
1989 Thomas Starzl Pittsburgh, PA
1990 Joseph E. Murray Boston, MA
1996 David C. Sabiston Durham, NC
2001 W. Hardy Hendren, III Boston, MA
2003 Hermes C. Grillo Boston, MA
2005 M. Judah Folkman Boston, MA
2011 William Silen Boston, MA
2014 Murray Brennan New York, NY
2017 Lenworth W. Jacobs Hartford, CT
2019 John L. Cameron Baltimore, MD
WILLIAM SILEN, MD
The 96th Annual Meeting was held on December 5, 2011. President Robert C. Shamberger brought the meeting to order with 142 members and guests present. A true highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the 30th Bigelow Medal to William Silen, MD, Chair, Emeritus of Surgery at the Beth Israel Hospital and the Johnson and Johnson Professor of Surgery, Emeritus at Harvard Medical School. We heard of Dr. Silen’s endless example of excellence across a remarkable career in academic surgery and medicine. Revered as the epitome mentor, Dr. Silen would become the first Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity at HMS. Surrounded by several of his trainees, Dr. Silen was honored with a standing ovation as fitting recognition of his enormous contributions to surgery in general, but also to Boston in particular.
On February 10, 2014, the BSS convened to welcome a true legend in surgery and cancer care, Murray F. Brennan, MD of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. During his one-of-a-kind address entitled “Evolution of Cancer Care”, 112 members and guests heard Dr. Brennan chronicle decades of care for thousands of sarcoma patients, demonstrating how evidence-based changes in care realized over time have become today’s standards. Further, he offered parallel lessons learned in the progress of surgical care for other types of cancer. Of course, this led to a long and spirited discussion. The highlight of the evening though was the presentation of the 31st Bigelow Medal to Dr. Brennan by President David Brooks on behalf of the Boston Surgical Society, and the standing ovation that followed.
LENWORTH JACOBS, MD
On November 6, 2017 the Society met to award the 32nd Bigelow Medal to Lenworth W. Jacobs, MD, FACS, of Hartford Connecticut. 97 members and guests of the Society were in attendance, including Commissioner William Evans of the Boston Police Department, Mr. James Hooley, Chief of Boston Emergency Medical Services, and Mr. Richard Serino, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and former Deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Dr. Jacobs was honored for his long commitment to improved care of injured patients, and for his seminal work in organizing the Hartford Consensus, a group of healthcare professionals who came together after the tragic mass murders in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. This panel was dedicated to the profoundly simple proposition that the earlier bleeding can be stopped, the more likely it is that a victim will survive. Out of it arose the “Stop the Bleed” campaign sponsored by the American College of Surgeons. This is an effort to teach first responders simple techniques to control hemorrhage in the field before help arrives. Dr. Jacobs was the leader of this effort, and the wide dissemination of these techniques is already saving lives.
JOHN L. CAMERON, MD
Dr. Frederick Millham presented Dr. John Cameron with the 33rd Henry Jacob Bigelow Medal on November 4, 2019, at the Harvard Club of Boston. Dr. Cameron’s spectacular address, “The Bigelow Medal – Hopkins Connection: JMT Finney and more” captivated the 123 members and guests. Details of the evening are further captured in the BSS Minutes for Fall 2019-Spring 2020.
For more on J.M.T. Finney (Mississippian, Princetonian, US Army Brigadier General, Johns Hopkins Surgeon, and first president of the American College of Surgeons) please click here.
Additionally, please enjoy this Annals of Surgery publication by Past-President H. Brownell Wheeler reflecting upon the history of the Bigelow Medal and the 1996 recipient David C. Sabiston, Jr, MD.