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Lawrence Hoyt Wilkinson oral history collection

Identifier: HHC 65

Scope and Content

This interview surveys the life and career of Dr. Lawrence Hoyt Wilkinson (1916-1992), a general surgeon of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Arriving in Albuquerque in 1948, Dr. Wilkinson practiced four decades in the city and played a major role in the development of his medical specialty and in the foundation of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Among the subjects discussed in this interview are Dr. Wilkinson's personal and professional backgrounds; the surgeons of mid-20th century Albuquerque; the development of the Santa Fe Hospital and the other hospitals of Albuquerque. Dr. Wilkinson's account of the birth of the UNM School of Medicine is an especially detailed and valuable element of this interview.


  • 1984

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for research and open to the public.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biography or History

Lawrence Hoyt Wilkinson (1916-1992) was born in Katy, Texas on July 4, 1916. Growing up on a cattle ranch in a small community, Wilkinson graduated as Valedictorian from his high class of eleven students. Coming of college age during the peak of the depression, Lawrence Wilkinson paid for his education at Southwestern University by working as a biology lab assistant and a hospital orderly. He graduated with his B.S. in premedical education in 1937. After college, Wilkinson applied for medical school and was initially turned down. He applied a year later to Baylor University College of Medicine and was accepted. Supporting himself by working numerous jobs and sacrificing the "personal pleasures" of sleep and fun, Lawrence Wilkinson received his M.D. in 1942. After completing a one-year internship at Herman Hospital in Houston, Texas and serving three years in the Army Air Corps, Wilkinson accepted a residency in surgery at Methodist Hospital in Houston in 1946. In 1948, Wilkinson moved with his wife Lanette to establish a surgical private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Dr. Wilkinson was appointed to the Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico in 1959 by Governor John Burroughs. During his tenure, the university undertook the construction of the School of Medicine with a 1.2 million dollar grant from the Kellogg Foundation. Dr. Wilkinson supported the establishment of a medical school in New Mexico and assisted in garnering faculty and medical community support for its construction. UNM President Tom Popejoy commented in 1971 that, "Larry debated strongly for the school when the going was rough." In 1961 Wilkinson was elected President of the Board of Regents and served a two-year term. In all, Dr. Wilkinson served on the Board of Regents for twelve years. In 1987 Dr. Wilkinson retired from private practice but remained a resident of Albuquerque.

Over his forty year career in Albuquerque, Dr. Wilkinson was honored many times. In 1965, he was honored as a distinguished alumnus from Southwestern University. In 1969, he was given the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews for his public service in Nicaragua. In 1971 Dr. Wilkinson received the A.H. Robins Community Service Award from the New Mexico Medical Society. In 1980, he was given the Bernard S. Rodey Award from the UNM Alumni Association. In 1981, Dr. Wilkinson was honored with the UNM Regents' Recognition Medal.

After retiring from active medical practice, Dr. Wilkinson continued to participate in professional and community organizations. He died August 9, 1992.


1 oversized folder, 4 sound cassettes (250 min.), 1 photo print


This forty-three page interview documents the professional career of Albuquerque surgeon Dr. Lawrence H. Wilkinson (1916-1992). Included in this collection are the final transcript and audio recordings from an oral history recorded in 1984. Also included are three news clippings pertaining to Dr. Wilkinson.

Related Archival Material

The UNM Archives Oral History Collection, 1989-. UNMA 123Center for Southwest Research. New Mexico Medical Society. Medical History Committee meeting [graphic]. HHC31PH198 New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Lawrence Hoyt Wilkinson Papers. HHC 31New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Albert G. Simms II Oral History. HHC78FL901New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Clinton Wilkins Morgan, Jr. Oral History. HHC69FL1279 New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Donald E. Rodgers Oral History. HHC82FL900New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Daniel E. Smith Oral History. HHC79FL1274New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Emmit M Jennings Oral History. HHC71FL857New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Fred H. Hanold Oral History Collection. HHC59FL975 New Mexico Health Historical Collection. John Franklin Boyd Oral History. HHC83FL1241New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Jerome Greenblatt Oral History. HHC84FL1293New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Lewis M. Overton Oral History. HHC85FL814New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Randolph V. Seligman Oral History. HHC86FL1260New Mexico Health Historical Collection. Richard R. Barr Oral History. HHC87FL868New Mexico Health Historical Collection.

Separated Material

Original audio recordings are stored in the Special Collections Annex.


Contact Information

  1. UNM Health Sciences Center
  2. Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center, MSC09 5100, 1 University of New Mexico
  3. New Mexico Health Historical Collection
  4. Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
  5. Phone: (505) 272-8873
  6. Fax:
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Processing Information

The material was processed by Janet Johnson in 1984. Danielle Scott reorganized the material in 2005.
Inventory of the Lawrence Hoyt Wilkinson Oral History, 1984
Processed by Danielle Scott
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center Repository

MSC 09 5100
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque New Mexico 87131 United States