History of Medicine

One Giant Step for Physicians: A Texas Physician’s Role in Space-Race Medicine - 08/02/2019

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of America’s Apollo 11 Lunar Mission – the first time humans set foot on the moon. Across the world, the event was heralded as a milestone of scientific achievement, and its three-man crew – Neil Armstrong, Col. Buzz Aldrin, and Lt. Col. Michael Collins – became American heroes. Laboring behind the scenes were swarms of unsung individuals whose expertise made the enterprise possible, including Texas cardiologist Lawrence E. Lamb, MD. His 2006 memoir Inside the Space Race: A Space Surgeon’s Diary remains a vivid account of the essential role physicians played in the race to reach the moon.  


TMA Archives Photoshoot: A Look Back in Time(lapse) - 06/18/2019

Go behind the scenes as photographer Matt Lemke shoots some of the most interesting medical memorabilia in the Texas Medical Association archives and History of Medicine collection – everything from 15th century anatomical illustrations to Civil War postmortem dissection kits.


The Long Lost Speech: Letter Offers Glimpse Into 19th Century Surgery - 02/04/2019

The fifth floor of the Texas Medical Association building in Austin houses an archival collection of thousands of books, photographs, and artifacts documenting the rich history of Texas medicine. And there’s always room for more. That’s what unexpectedly happened in October, when TMA staff found an 1892 hand-written letter tucked away in the pages of an old medical journal. The speech gives modern-day physicians a look at the tools and techniques surgeons used more than 100 years ago.


TMA Exhibit Explores Disasters That Helped Shape Texas Medicine - 10/22/2018

The Texas Medical Association is highlighting some of the state’s most notorious disasters, and the medical responses to them, in its newest exhibit, “When Disaster Strikes…Six Catastrophes That Changed Texas Medicine.” The exhibit is on display until September 2019 in the Robert G. Mickey History of Medicine Gallery at the TMA headquarters in Austin.


Fighting on Two Fronts - 09/06/2018

The only female Texas physician to serve in World War I broke barriers in more ways than one.


Imploded Austin Building’s Namesake Stood Tall for Texas Medicine - 03/28/2018

On March 25, Ashbel Smith Hall in Austin was imploded to make way for a new downtown development. This was not a case of yet another capital city landmark falling by the wayside, as the nine-story concrete building was, by all accounts, bland and architecturally dull. The building’s namesake, however, is a different story.


Maternal Health, Cyber Liability Highlight State Health Conference Saturday - 01/23/2018

Women dying after childbirth, criminals hacking into medical records, universal health care coverage, and doctors fighting misinformation are some of the important topics physicians and other experts will cover at 2018 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Winter Conference, in Austin.


Event Debuts TMA Botanical Medicine Exhibit in Spanish - 10/30/2017

The Texas Medical Association (TMA) unveils a Spanish-language translation of its popular History of Medicine exhibit, “Deep Roots: Botanical Medicine From Plants to Prescriptions,” with a special Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event. Dia de los Muertos is a celebrated holiday in Mexico and other regions.


Famed Texas Pathologist's Records Released - 04/06/2017

Fort Worth pathologist May Owen, MD, blazed many a trail during her long career in medicine. Now, digital versions of the papers and records that document her path are available in the Portal to Texas History.


HOM Kiosk Videos - 01/05/2017

HOM Kiosk Videos


TMA Presents “Cutting Edge: A History of Surgery” - 06/17/2016

TMA’s “Cutting Edge: A History of Surgery” honors the centennial of the Texas Surgical Society in 2015 by exploring improvements that allowed surgery to become essential to medicine. The exhibit features stories of the primitive and precarious nature of early Texas surgery from the time of the Spanish explorers to the Alamo to advances in anesthesia and safer surgery around the turn of century.


TMA Exhibits Pioneer Heart Surgeons’ Unique Artifacts - 05/06/2016

Imagine being a patient undergoing heart surgery, and its success might depend on a homemade device called the “Cooley Coffeepot.” Patients of renowned heart surgeon Denton A. Cooley, MD, in the 1950s were helped by the contraption, which now is on public display with other medical artifacts at the Texas Medical Association.


Historic Texas City Explosion Featured in TMA Exhibit - 05/06/2016

The deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history 67 years ago this week in Texas City — one that changed the state’s emergency response system — is chronicled in a Texas Medical Association (TMA) exhibit. TMA’s History of Medicine Gallery exhibit, “Bugs, Bones, and Blood,” features artifacts from the April 16, 1947, tragedy in the harbor town southeast of Houston.


Kennedy Assassination Display Part of TMA Exhibit - 05/06/2016

An event that shook Texas, America, and the world 51 years ago is featured in the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) museum. Physicians racing to save the lives of President John F. Kennedy, Texas Gov. John Connally, and Lee Harvey Oswald at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on Nov. 22 and 24, 1963, are chronicled in the TMA display.