Current Mailing Address
J. Thomas Hutton, M.D., Ph.D. (Tom)
Medicine Spirit Ranch
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Present Activity Status and Community Activities:
I have retired from the clinical practice of medicine but continue with occasional medical missionary work and consulting.
Much of my time now is spent in volunteer efforts that include Board of Trustees for the Hill Country Memorial Health System, Board of the Wellness Center, Advisory Board to Gillespie County Health Department, Elder at Memorial Presbyterian Church, Consultant to Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, Reviewer for National Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence Grants, Advisory Board for Economic Development for Fredericksburg/Gillespie County, graduate Gillespie County Leadership Training Program, and volunteer for many of the frequent festivals in Fredericksburg.
have been married to Trudy since 1969, and we have two wonderful children- John
Andrew Hutton (attorney in
What path has your career taken since your residency? Include military service, private practice, academic career, teaching and research accomplishments.
1974-1975 I took a year hiatus from the residency program in order to
participate in the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Health Exchange
program. I trained with the eminent Soviet Neurologist and
Neuropsychologist Alexander Romanovich Luria at the Burdenko
Neurosurgical Institute of the
completion of my residency and fellowship, I joined the faculty of the
December of 1980 I joined the Department of Medical and Surgical Neurology at
1990 I entered the private sector and established Neurology Associates of
Lubbock and the Neurology Research and
most active professional affiliation has been with the Texas Neurological
Society. I served in a variety of capacities including President of this
the most active and largest of the State Neurology Associations. At T.N.S. I established a
newsletter called “Broca’s Area” and edited it for
eight years. In addition I became a fellow of the
scholarly writings include over 100 articles and chapters, and six edited books
for both scientific and caregiver audiences. The majority of these
articles are on Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or higher cortical
functions. I am flattered to have served as visiting professor to a large
number of institutions including
My greatest professional affirmation has always derived from having been a physician for countless patients who entrusted me with their care. My self-confidence in clinical skills came from the knowledge that I had trained in the finest clinical Neurology program that had existed at the time.
of these modest professional accomplishments could have been possible without
the outstanding example and training provided to me by the faculty of the
Department of Neurology of the
We are interested in anecdotes and experiences from your residency years. Include interactions among fellow residents and teaching staff.
While Saturday morning teaching rounds (often referred to as trauma sessions) with Professor A. B. Baker spring to mind, this is much too obvious. Rather I offer the experience of the “Midnight Meal”. At the end of a typically frenzied workday, house officers gathered to eat the leftovers of the day’s meals. Jerome Lowenstein authored an essay and book entitled “The Midnight Meal” and described this sociological phenomenon. The midnight meal allowed house officers a brief respite from their labors and a time to learn from other residents farther along in their training. In addition to the meal, we communicated insights, exchanged “curbside consults”, and advised one another on the process of becoming fully trained practitioners.
recall the warm camaraderie shared during those late meals. Who can forget
hearing Dan Randa extol the incredible cultural and
geographic virtues of his native
In addition to desultory boasting and satire, topics also included clinical matters. Stemming from the interplay of differing clinical perspectives at the table, these discussions often injected vividness and immediacy to the clinical situation. To sit at the table with a consulting Cardiology resident, a Pulmonary resident, and an Internal Medicine Resident and discuss the condition of your patient with hemorrhagic stroke represented an incredible learning experience. Their informal thoughts were far more meaningful than were the stale chart consultations.
process of coming of age as a neurological resident also was hastened by
listening to humorous and sometimes sad anecdotes of others, usually shared
over leftover meat loaf. I remember the shocked realization of a
neurological colleague that side effects existed for pneumoencephalography
after having just performed his first on an attractive twenty-five year old
woman. I also remember sharing personal embarrassment for having
shelled out a much needed $20 to a man in the emergency room after he claimed
being near starvation, only later to find him lying in the gutter at
I also fondly remember the conversations that wandered far from clinical medicine. I remember Mark Nordyke wax eloquently about the joy of flying, Mike Schaak explaining the intricacies of dealing with Nurse Clipper, and Preston Harrison’s advise on seating arrangements at Saturday morning teaching rounds (avoid the first 10 seats clockwise to Dr. Baker).
Share your thoughts regarding the changes in medicine since your residency. In your opinion, is Neurology positioned well for the future?
Neurology like other areas of medicine during the last thirty-five years has experienced phenomenal technological achievements. Our current stellar imaging and modern therapeutic modalities couldn’t have been imagined at the time of my training. Back then we focused more on the “black box” of Dr. A.B. Baker and the importance that psychological influences had on neurological symptoms. Now with computer searches and palm pilots, current information is far more readily available than before. The practice of medicine has become more sophisticated, and we must not lose such great progress. However these wonderful technical successes also place our profession at risk at becoming overly insular. A tendency exists for current physicians to interact less with colleagues and more with machines or the numbers they disgorge.
The midnight meal provided social lubrication for the collective care of patients by many physicians and specialties. I don’t know if this quaint custom even still exists. If it does not, then other means are needed to provide a human interface among physicians, so that our most personal and caring of professions never veers into a numbers crunching, overly compartmentalized group of disciplines.
Neurology with its reliance on medical history and careful neurological examination remains an anachronism in modern medicine. Who else but neurologists still tote around little black bags? Who else but a neurologist spends more time taking medical histories and performing examinations than reviewing laboratory numbers? Neurologists must not avoid the newer technological achievements. But perhaps by the anachronistic nature of our discipline, Neurology has become a bridge from the present to the more humanistic, interconnected physicians of the past. Such improved socialization of medicine represents my fondest wish for medicine. Moreover I hope our discipline that parenthetically McDonald Critchley endearingly referred to as “The Divine Banquet of the Brain” and by which I was seduced so many years ago, leads the way toward an improved interconnected clinical effort from which patients will continue to benefit.