Editor’s note: Faculty authors are invited to send their published books to the Office of Communications for display in the glass bookshelves on the ground floor of the Medical School Building. Normally these are textbooks and they go straight into the case. However, when I saw Frank Reflections on my desk, I couldn’t help but start to read it.
If you have worked at McGovern Medical School any length of time, you know Dr. Frank Moody. A highly respected senior faculty member in the Department of Surgery and its chairman emeritus, Moody joined the school’s faculty in 1982. But unless you have read his memoir, Frank Reflections of an Academic Surgeon, you probably do not know his story.
Frank Reflections of an Academic Surgeon, published by iUniverse in 2013, details Moody’s incredible journey from growing up in New Hampshire during the Depression Era to his current stature as a world-renowned surgeon.
Moody provides an insightful view to the history and growth of McGovern Medical School’s Department of Surgery, starting with his recruitment at age 55 by former Dean Ernst Knobil to lead the department. Let’s just say it involves a Lear Jet and “playing hard to get.”
In a humble, straightforward style, Moody details his extensive academic training and experience at many institutions, including the U.S. Army, which gives one the impression that the field of surgery is a small world. He also enumerates on many former surgery residents and faculty of McGovern Medical School, as well as his research experiences.
There is some great history about this school in Moody’s book, but the book is so much more than that. Moody shares his life story, which has so many twists and “good fortune” as he might say, it makes for a page-turner. Growing up during the Depression, Moody explains how it wasn’t so bad because everyone was poor. His parents never owned a home or a car, and he was the first one on both sides of his family to graduate from college (with a future president delivering the commencement address). He tells about his addiction to the mountains – both hiking and skiing – and his travels around the world.
His personal life has points that feel like they are from a movie. But, this is Moody’s life, and it is a very interesting one.
Frank Reflections is available on Amazon.