James H. Hendrix, Jr. M.D.
1920 - 2008
Jimmy Hendrix was truly an icon in plastic surgery. A native Tennessean, he received his Undergraduate Degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and then earned his Medical Degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis. After graduating from medical school, he served his internship at the Methodist Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee just before entering the U. S. Army in 1944. Between 1944 and 1946, Dr. Hendrix served on the Orthopedic Service at Deshon General Hospital in Butler, Pennsylvania and later with Dr. Truman Blocker at Wakeman General Hospital Plastic Surgery Unit near Indianapolis. He was trained in General Surgery at Baptist and Methodist Hospitals in Memphis and at the John Seely Hospital at the University of Texas Branch in Galveston. He continued his Plastic Surgery Training in Galveston, also under Dr. Truman Blocker. After completion of his Residency Training he moved to Jackson, Mississippi where he represented the first plastic surgeon in the State of Mississippi. Dr. Hendrix served as Professor of Surgery and head of Plastic Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical School and established the first Plastic Surgery Residency at the University of Mississippi in 1957. He remained at the University of Mississippi until 1972 when he returned to his home State of Tennessee becoming the Professor of Surgery and head of Plastic Surgery at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine where he also started a new Residency Program. He continued in practice until his ultimate retirement in 1991 when he moved to Nashville to be near family.
Dr. Hendrix was an active member in many surgical societies and served in leadership roles in almost all of them. He served as President of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, Plastic Surgery, President of the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, President of the Aesculapian Society, President of the Clinical Society of University Plastic Surgeons. He was a founding member and Chairman of the Plastic Surgery Research Council, a Director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and Chairman of the Resident Review Committee for Plastic Surgery. He was elected to Fellowship in the American Association of Plastic Surgeons in 1958 and served a 1 year term as its Historian.
In every organization in which he served, Dr. Hendrix was known for his conciliatory and thoughtful approach to the difficult problems of the then new surgical specialty of Plastic Surgery, He received the prestigious Pickrell Award from the Southeastern Society for his accomplishments as surgeon and surgical educator. Dr. Hendrix contributed extensively to the plastic surgery literature and made numerous presentations throughout the southeastern states and all around the world. Among his many Visiting Professorships included a two-month stint with Dr. Paul Brand at Christian Medical College in Vellore, India. The University of Tennessee College of Medicine presented him an Outstanding Alumnus Award for special recognition of his Distinguished Service in his Medical Practice, Profession and Community. Dr. Hendrix trained two generations of plastic surgeons and was widely respected as a plastic surgeon, teacher and national leader. The Annual Hendrix Lectureship in Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center was established in 2002 as a tribute to this outstanding surgeon and fine gentleman. He was truly one of the great men of plastic surgery in the 20th Century. I was proud to have known him and having the opportunity to spend many cold mornings in a duck blind at Stuckguard, Arkansas with this extremely gracious and humble man.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
R. Bruce Shack, M.D.