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The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine began as a two-year basic science program in 1900 and became a four-year medical school in 1910. With the completion of the University Hospital in 1918, the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine became a Class A medical school and has continued as such since.

The First Full-Time Faculty of the Department of Surgery

From left to right, standing, ​Drs. William R. Richardson and G. Rainey Williams; seated, Drs. Gilbert S. Campbell, Merlin K. DuVal Jr., Rene B. Menguy, and John A. Schilling.

For many years the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Department of Surgery was attended by surgeons from the Oklahoma City Surgical Community. Dr. LeRoy D. Long, a practicing physician and surgeon in McAlester, Okla., was appointed the first Dean and Professor of Surgery in the School of Medicine in 1915. At this time, three voluntary faculty members were also appointed. They were Dr. William J. Jolley, the first Department Head, Dr. Robert M. Howard, and Dr. E.S. Ferguson.

The first resident in surgery was accepted for the academic year 1920-21 for one year of training. One resident a year was appointed for the next decade. In 1938, the Surgical Residency Program was approved for two years. At that time the number of residents varied from two to four. Following World War II, the Surgical Residency Program received approval for three years of training and in 1952 for the full four years. By this time the total number of surgical residents had increased to five. In 1959, the Thoracic Surgical Residency Program was given approval.

Dr. John A. Schilling

In 1956 Dr. John A. Schilling became the first full-time Chairman of the Department of Surgery. Dr. Schilling graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his Surgery Training at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. He was invited to the University of Oklahoma, where he was successful in recruiting a number of outstanding faculty members, including: Dr. Merlin K. DuVal Jr., Dr. Rene B. Menguy, Dr. Gilbert S. Campbell, Dr. G. Rainey Williams and Dr. William R. Richardson. Four of the six original full-time faculty members were Markle Scholars – Drs. Campbell, DuVal, Menguy and Williams.


Dr. G. Rainey Williams

Dr. Williams succeeded Dr. Schilling as Chairman of the Surgery Department at the University of Oklahoma in 1974. Dr. Williams, who graduated from medical school at Northwestern and did his Surgery Training at Johns Hopkins, was Chairman of the Surgery Department from 1974 to 1996, at which time ill health forced his retirement. He was succeeded by Dr. Russell G. Postier.


Dr. Russell G. Postier

Dr. Postier attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma and completed his Surgery Training at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Postier, a noted Gastrointestinal, Biliary and Pancreatic Surgeon, served on the surgical faculty since 1981. He was Residency Director from 1983 until 1997, when he assumed the Chairmanship of the Department. Dr. Postier retired in December 2017.

Dr. Barish H. Edil

Dr. Edil is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He holds a Bachelor in Science degree in Zoology and received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. Upon graduation, he received his graduate medical education with his Residency in General Surgery, followed by his Research Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. After completing his Residency Training in General Surgery, he continued his career as the Assistant Chief of Service at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, receiving a certificate in Surgical Oncology. In addition, he completed his Postdoctoral Training in Cancer Immunology at The Johns Hopkins University. After completion of his training he remained at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor for the Department of Surgery and the Department of Oncology. While on the faculty, he developed the techniques and performed the first Laparoscopic Pancreaticoduodenectomy (“Whipple”) operation in the history of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition, he ran the first Neoadjuvant Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Trial.

He later joined the University of Colorado as the Division Chief of Surgical Oncology. In addition, while at the University of Colorado, Dr. Edil’s team discovered a new cancer vaccine, which is currently being developed for clinical trials.

Dr. Edil has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in leading surgery textbooks. He has been an invited lecturer in the field of Surgery, most notably in the areas of Laparoscopic Whipple surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgical Oncology and Cancer Immunology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is active in a number of national societies and review groups/study sections.