Don Trunkey, as my fellow surgical resident Brian Gilchrist liked to say, was Lincolnesque. Always a calm demeanor, always a joke or an anecdote ready, and always leading others where they were afraid to go. Like Lincoln he was tall, lanky, and folksy and was raised in a rural environment among family that favored hard work. And like Lincoln, he rose to the top of his profession. I never heard Don Trunkey character assassinate anyone. The most negative thing, and it’s not even all that negative, I ever heard him say about another surgeon publicly or privately, was, ‘He’s an iconoclast’. Some people might even say that’s a compliment! And that attitude of acceptance permeated down from him into the surgery faculty at Oregon. I consider myself very privileged to have trained with him.
From “Mayberry, John. Pioneers, Heroes, Brooders, Surgeons. American Journal of Surgery, 2019, Published Ahead of Print”