Dr. McDonald received his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1955. He was introduced to transplantation during his surgical residency at Meyer Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, New York. In 1968 he returned to Louisiana to direct the Tulane transplant program, and in 1977 he was appointed as professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport (LSUHSC-S). While at LSUHSC-S he pioneered a system of organ sharing and computerized matching within the Southern-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation and was instrumental in founding the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA). In 1986 Dr. McDonald became president of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network of Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS), the first national system mandated by law to organize organ sharing and oversee transplantation in the United States. Additionally, he led several regional and national societies including the American Society of Transplantation Surgeons (ASTS).
After 32 years with the LSU Health System, Dr. McDonald retired in 2009. He died two years later at the age of 81. His colleagues have shared many positive words about him including: remarkable, humble, exceptional, caring, extraordinary, loyal, honest, and kind. Although Dr. McDonald is no longer among us, the John C. McDonald Regional Transplant Center continues to serve patients as part of his legacy.
Dr. McDonald’s motto: “Every day, do the best you can and do the right thing for your patients.”
Additional information about Dr. John C. McDonald can be found at http://johncmcdonald.org