Raymond K. Thompson
1958, San Francisco
Raymond Kief Thompson was born in Vermillion, South Dakota on June 16, 1916, the son of a college professor. His early years were spent in New York City. With his family he moved to Maryland in 1920 and it has been his home ever since. With the untimely death of his father and the Great Depression, education was a cherished ideal obtained only when employment afforded sufficient funds to make further education possible. Medical school had to be interrupted between the sophomore and junior years to earn sufficient funds to complete the training. In 1941 he graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine with honors. His house staff training as a rotating intern was followed by being invited to train in neurological surgery with Dr. Charles Bagley, Jr. at the University of Maryland.
Dr. Thompson served as a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserves during World War II. He ended his Naval career after serving at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. After the war he joined the faculty at the University of Maryland and continued to progress up the academic ladder until 1985 when he was awarded the title, Professor Emeritus of Surgery (Neurosurgery). In 1948, he established the Neurosurgical Research Laboratory at the University of Maryland and still continues scientific investigation in this laboratory.
Dr. Thompson has enjoyed the honor of being chosen president of both the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Neurosurgical Society of America. He has been awarded Distinguished Practitioner of Neurological Surgery by the Southern Neurosurgical Society. He also serves as Honorary President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. He also is a trustee of the Foundation forInternational Education in Neurological Surgery.
The most memorable event while he served the Congress of Neurological Surgeons was, with the help of Mr. Williams of Williams & Wilkins, the establishment of the yearly volume of Clinical Neurosurgery. These volumes over the years have honored many of the great in neurological surgery and have become a choice possession of all members of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
His lifetime research work on brain stem distortion continues to be the thrust of his investigations into the workings of the nervous system. He continues to enjoy teaching and helping others with their careers in neurological surgery.