George T. Tindall

1974, Vancouver

George T. Tindall has made significant contributions to American neurosurgery. He is well respected for his surgical skills, research, publications, and leadership in neurosurgical organizations. His name is synonymous with pituitary surgery. His career has spanned several institutions; Hopkins, Duke, Galveston, and Emory. At each, Dr. Tindall honed his skills as a hard-working and exacting surgeon, teacher, researcher, and leader in the wider reaches of American neurosurgery.

Dr. Tindall was born on March 13, 1928 in Magee, Mississippi, a small town in a highly rural setting. He was active in athletics in high school, and went to college at the University of Mississippi where he graduated in 1948. He was elected to Phi Eta Sigma, an honorary scholastic society. He married Katy Hopson and they had four children during 22 years of marriage.

Dr. Tindall entered The Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1948, finishing in 1952 and graduated Alpha Omega Alpha. During that period of time he spent a clerkship of 2 months at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, an experience with a good deal of influence on his life. He went into the Halsted program in general surgery at The Johns Hopkins where he spent 1 year. During this time he became acquainted with Dr. Frank Otenasek, one of Dr. Dandy's former residents, who had a profound influence on his decision to enter neurosurgery. After an interim of 2 years spent as a flight surgeon in the Air Force, Dr. Tindall entered the neurosurgical training program at Duke in 1955. He spent the next 13 years at Duke. He was in residency for 6 years and on the staff for 7 years. In 1968 he was chosen to head the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. In 1973, he came to Emory and under his leadership, neurosurgery at Emory has reached national and international prominence. In 1971, after the death of his wife, Katy, he married a first-year neurology resident, Dr. Suzie Cunningham, who has been wife, companion, and neurosurgical partner since.

Dr. Tindall's clinical interests have been in aneurysms, head injuries, and pituitary surgery. In addition, he had the pleasure of training his wife in neurosurgery. She has become a strong factor in neurosurgery in this country and an effective member of the faculty of Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Tindall has been associated with many outstanding individuals in his medical career who have had a profound influence on him. These include Jack Guyton, an ophthalmologist; David Sabiston, one of his closest friends and professor of surgery at Duke; as well as Dr. Barnes Woodhall and Dr. Guy Odom, who were his teachers in neurosurgery at Duke.

Dr. Tindall has played a major role in neurosurgical organizations. He was president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons in 1974. During his term he was a part of the negotiations with Dr. Paul Bucy to make Surgical Neurology the "official" journal of the Congress. The annual meeting during Dr. Tindall's presidency was in Vancouver, and Dr. Guy Odom was the honored guest. In 1989, Dr. Tindall completed his term as president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). There have been only seven neurosurgeons who have achieved presidency of both the Congress and the AANS. Dr. Tindall has also been president of the Georgia Neurosurgical Society, the Society of University Neurosurgeons, and the Southern Neurosurgical Society. Dr. Tindall recently completed his 6-year term as a member of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He has a major interest in gardening and has a farm and tree nursery, which he has built into a strong business. Dr. Tindall founded the popular biweekly publication, Contemporary Neurosurgery and 2 years ago, Dr. Tindall launched another biweekly, Neurosurgical Consultations. He has coauthored two textbooks on the pituitary, Clinical Management of Pituitary Disorders and Disorders of the Pituitary.