Caption: (Second from left to right) Surgical giants Mark Ravitch, Thomas Starzl and Henry Bahnson with a colleague in China, c. 1983. (Photo courtesy M. Webster.)
After graduating from Pitt Med and finishing a surgical residency, Clyde “Ted” McAuley (MD ’79, Res ’85) served as a trauma surgeon and critical care physician in Texas at Wilford Hall, the Air Force medical center.
“I treated fighter pilots and had some challenging cases,” McAuley says. “I often only had a minute or two to solve the issue. I’d just ask myself what my teachers would do in that moment. My mentor had shown me that surgery wasn’t just a technical game; you have to be extremely knowledgeable in terms of pathophysiology to make the right decisions.”
McAuley’s mentor at Pitt was legendary surgeon Mark Ravitch. McAuley also admired and learned from Henry T. Bahnson, heart transplant pioneer and then chair of surgery; Thomas Starzl, liver transplant pioneer; and Bernard Fisher, who revolutionized breast cancer surgery and treatment.
After McAuley’s 15 years of service (both in the reserves and active duty), he and his wife, Trudi, were drawn back to Pittsburgh, a place they’d fallen in love with after both growing up in peripatetic military families. They bought a 137-acre farm outside of the city called Rich Hollow, where they cultivated an
award-winning garden and raised Shetland sheep and Scottish Highland cattle. McAuley describes Trudi, who died soon after retirement, as “one of the most brilliant people you’d ever meet.”
He led various trauma and critical care units before retiring from Allegheny General Hospital. The McAuleys decided to honor Pitt by making unrestricted gifts to the School of Medicine, among other Pitt programs. “It’s a privilege to be fortunate enough to give back,” says McAuley.
“Pitt School of Medicine was excellent when I went there, but now it’s just superb.”
McAuley is proud to be part of Pitt’s surgical legacy—from being a trainee to a chief resident and trainer himself to supporting today’s surgical faculty, notably through the Andrew B. Peitzman Chair, now held by Jason Sperry. McAuley remembers Peitzman, who now holds Pitt’s Mark M. Ravitch Chair, as a resident and describes him as “absolutely outstanding—we all knew he was super sharp and would be going places.”
“I always told my residents that if they didn’t leave the program at a higher caliber than when they started, they weren’t doing their jobs,” McAuley says. “You have to always want to get better, and I think that desire is what sets Pitt apart.”
To make a gift to the medical school: Giveto.pitt.edu/giveMED