The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville


Founding Member of UT Department of Surgery Dr. John Kesterson Passes Away

John Kesterson, MD, passed away in January at age 94. He was a surgeon in the Knoxville area, recently honored for more than 50 years of service by the Knoxville Academy of Medicine. He was one of the first surgeons to practice at The University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Dr. Kesterson pioneered many surgical procedures and taught his procedures to other surgeons in the region. He impacted UT surgeons in numerous capacities. "He was many persons to me," said Hobart Akin, MD, Assistant Professor, Surgery. "When I was a teenager he was a neighbor. He was my surgeon when I had an injury to my left hand. During my surgical residency, he was my teacher and mentor. Last of all, he was my friend. He will be missed but not forgotten."

Dr. Kesterson graduated from Vanderbilt Medical School at the age of 19 by attending year round, earning his place among the Canby-Robinson Society, an honor given to him by graduating first in his class. He completed his medical internship in March 1943. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as Chief of Anesthesiology for the 114th General Hospital stationed in Midlands, England, on the Severn River. As chief anesthetist, he performed more than 60,000 anesthesia procedures on wounded soldiers. After the war, he returned to Knoxville and opened a general surgical practice and worked the surgery rooms in Knoxville General, Baptist Regional Medical Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, St. Mary's Health System and The University of Tennessee Medical Center.

March 28, 2013



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