Alumni

The history of The Department of Neurosurgery

The southern areas of Florida and the city of Miami had to await the establishment of the railway created by Henry Flagler at the urging of Julia Tuttle in 1896 for its development. The marshy swamps soon transformed into the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, and the population of South Florida rose exponentially. It is very important to remember that the city of Miami’s history and its health system are barely a century old. The neurosurgeon to set up practice in the state of Florida was James Lyerly in Jacksonville in 1934. In 1940, Dr. Lyerly brought in Dr. Tracey Haver eld as an associate. After serving in the military from 1942 to 1945, Dr. Haver eld decided to relocate to Miami. He opened the second neurosurgical of ce in Florida, and he was the rst neurosurgeon to practice in Miami. The Department of Neurosurgery began at the University of Miami in 1959, and it became the state’s neurological surgery training program. The Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine commemorates more than half a century in patient care, teaching, and research by paying tribute to and re ecting on the accomplishments and achievements of its faculty. This arti-cle reviews the history of the University of Miami School of Medicine and the Department of Neurological Surgery, and the legacy of several of its innovative leaders, as well as the role they played in shaping the department’s history and their contributions to the eld of neurosurgery.

The Beginning

The University of Miami was established in 1926, and from its inception there was interest in including a medical school. However, the timing was not optimal; shortly after its opening, the campus was ravaged by the “great” hurricane of 1926, which remains the costliest US hurricane ever when adjusted for in ation, population, and wealth normalization yielding a cost of nearly $165 billion in current dollars. The Great Depression and World War II followed this catastrophe. It would take another 2 decades before the University revisited the idea of a medical school. The university’s announcement of its plan to build a medical school was greeted with a series of political conflicts. Click here to read more