Thomas Helling

Thomas Helling MD is currently a tenured Professor of Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. He is clinically active and heads the Division of General Surgery.

Doctor Helling is a graduate of the University of Kansas (undergraduate 1969, School of Medicine 1973). He has extensive experience in trauma care and has served in the Army Medical Corps from 1991 to 2000, receiving an honorable discharge at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He completed various Army schools, including the Combat Casualty Care Course, Advanced Officer School, and Command and General Staff College.

Professionally, Dr. Helling is board-certified in surgery and surgical critical care. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of a number of prestigious societies including the Southern Surgical Association, the American Surgical Association, and the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Doctor Helling also is a member of the American Association for the History of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Osler Society. He is a reviewer for several scientific journals including Military Medicine, the foremost peer-reviewed publication of military medicine and surgery.

Doctor Helling has authored or co-authored well over 110 scientific articles including several in the field of history of medicine. He is the author of Desperate Surgery in the Pacific War: Doctors, Damage Control, and America’s Wounded 1941-1945 (McFarland Publishing, 2017; ISBN-13: 978-1476664217) for which he was awarded the Harry D Langley Book Prize by the Society for the History of Navy Medicine in 2019. He is also the author of the recently released The Agony of Heroes: Medical Care for America’s Besieged Legions from Bataan to Khe Sanh (Yardley: Westholme Publishing, 2019) ISBN-13: 978-1594163203 and co-author of the recently released Historical Foundations of Liver Surgery (Berlin: Springer, 2020) ISBN 978-3-030-47094-4. He is a co-author on the chapter “Surgeons to the Front: Twentieth-Century Warfare and the Metamorphosis of Battlefield Surgery,” in [Berg PE, Ed] The Last 100 Yards: The Crucible of Close Combat in Large-Scale Combat Operations (Leavenworth: Army University Press, 2019). He has presented topics in surgery and history of medicine at a number of national meetings, including the American Association for the History of Medicine and the American Osler Society.

Doctor Helling provides a unique perspective on military medical history with his intimate familiarity with military medicine, trauma surgery, and medical history. Doctor Helling currently resides in Madison, Mississippi

“History is a fascination with me. These are stories that bring forth the best and worst of human nature, but invariably illustrates the struggle to find our better selves. And as a constant source of amazement and reassurance, I find invariably, in times of crises, we are able to do so. Indeed, the most horrible of circumstances bring out the very best in our spiritual souls. We truly become men and women for others.”