On Wednesday, August 30th of this year, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and University of Utah alum, Russell M. Nelson, donated his medical papers to the University. These medical papers include Nelson’s doctoral thesis, research publications, and surgical notes for thousands of Cardiothoracic surgeries that he performed during his three-decade career in medicine. University President Taylor Randall and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Michael Good accepted the gift of 35 volumes. These materials will be housed in the History of Health Sciences vault in the Eccles Health Sciences Library.
President Nelson earned his medical degree from the University of Utah in 1947. After, he went to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. There, he completed an internship and residency training. Nelson helped lead the research team that developed the heart-lung machine used to support the first human open-heart surgery in 1951. Four years later, Nelson returned to Utah, where he performed the state’s first open-heart surgery. Over the course of his 30-year medical career, President Nelson performed around 7,000 surgeries.
The donation of his medical papers is not President Nelson’s first to the University of Utah. In 2009, he also donated manuscripts, publications, films of surgical procedures, operative records, and other items related to his career, to the J. Willard Marriott Library’s special collections—which established the Russell Marion Nelson Collection.
Russell M. Nelson is the 17th and current President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was born in September of 1924 and is 99 years old.