Robert H. Wilkins

1980, Houston

Robert H. Wilkins was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 18, 1934. He received the B.S. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1955 and the M.D. degree from the same institution in 1959. He received his postgraduate training at the Duke University Medical Center (2 years of general surgery and 5 years of neurosurgery), spending the 2 years between these segments as a clinical associate in the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Following the completion of his residency, Dr. Wilkins joined the neurosurgical faculty of Duke University and was an assistant professor from 1968 through 1972. The next 4 years were spent as chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Scott and White Clinic in Temple, Texas (3 years) and as associate professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh (1 year). Dr. Wilkins then returned to Duke University where he has been professor and chief of the Division of Neurosurgery since 1976.

Dr. Wilkins has published more than 230 medical papers and chapters and has edited and authored a total of nine books. From 1975 to 1976 he was an associate editor of Surgical Neurology. He is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurosurgery, British Journal of Neurosurgery, and Acta Neurochirurgica. Dr. Wilkins has been active in several neurosurgical organizations, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons of which he is treasurer, and the Southern Neurosurgical Society of which he is a president-elect. He is currently a member of the National Advisory Council on Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Dr. Wilkins joined the Congress of Neurological Surgeons in 1969 and took part in various committee activities. He was a member of the Congress Executive Committee from 1973 to 1976 and was president from 1979 to 1980. As part of his duties for the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Dr. Wilkins was editor of Clinical Neurosurgery from 1972 to 1975 and was the founding editor of Neurosurgery from 1977 to 1982.

During his year as president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the business of the organization went on as usual. However, the site of the 1980 Annual Meetihg had to be switched at the last minute from Miami because of the deterioration of the conditions at the hotel with which the initial contract had been set years before. The Congress was fortunate to find excellent accommodations in Houston and the meeting went off without incident. The scientific program included a segment on the preparation and presentation of scientific material. Dr. Frank Netter gave a memorable talk on medical illustration in which he did not show a single slide or make use of any other visual material; furthermore, his speech, which was recorded and transcribed, required virtually no editing to prepare it for publication in Clinical Neurosurgery!