James R. Gay

1954, New York

Dr. James Rowland Gay was born in Dunmore, Pennsylvania on June 23, 1914. He received a B.S. degree from The Virginia Polytechnic and State University (1935), and an M.D. degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1939). He served as a house officer in surgery and psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (1939-1941). A fellowship in neurosurgery at The Mayo Foundation and Clinic was interrupted by World War II (1942-1946). He was assigned to medical staff positions in the United States Army, obtained the rank of major, and was decorated by the United States and French governments.

During his postgraduate education at the Mayo Foundation and Clinic, Dr. Gay was certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1948) and received an M.S. degree in neurosurgery from The University of Minnesota (1949). Later he was certified in neurosurgery by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (1951).

Dr. Gay was engaged in the private practice of neurosurgery at Columbus, Ohio and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (1949-1961), until his appointment as head of the Section on Neurological Surgery at the Lovelace Clinic, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1961-1968).

In Albuquerque his career was changed to full-time academic administration at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, where he served as assistant dean for administration, organized the New Mexico Accident Investigation Program (studying automobile accident causation), and was director of the New Mexico Regional Medical Program (1968-1974).

Dr. Gay became associate vice president for health affairs at the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences, Memphis, where he assisted in development of the central administrative structure, and was Director of International Programs with emphasis on Egypt and Japan (1974-1982).

Dr. Gay was a member of the strategy group that founded the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. His role was planner, organizer, and strategist. He promoted international affairs and assisted in the development of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies.

During his term as president (1954), he designed and standardized the annual meeting format and produced the Annual Meeting Manual, providing guidelines for future arrangements and program committees. A sophisticated exhibit program was added for the first time, and the technique of planned spontaneity for audience participation was introduced.

After retiring from the University of Tennessee (1982), he moved to Northeast Pennsylvania where he is a Board member and chairman of the Strategy Committee of Wayne Memorial Hospital, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Dr. Gay and his wife Lillian enjoy an outdoor life on a private lake, fishing, hiking, and studying nature. He remembers his part in founding the Congress of Neurological Surgeons as his most memorable experience in professional life.