|Keynote speaker, guest lecturer, distinguished lecturer, invited speaker – whatever the terminology may be - Dr. McDonald has delivered his message to scientific gatherings throughout the United States. His first invitation was to deliver the Theodore Drapanas Memorial Lecture at the Meyer Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, New York in 1981, site of his surgical residency and his appointment as an assistant professor of surgery. He also served as the Richard Burleson Lecturer at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse, the W. Alton Jones Lecturer at the University of Missouri, and was an honored guest lecturer at the J. Bradley Aust Surgical Society of San Antonio. “The Clinical Reality and Promise of Transplantation” (See also) was the title of the keynote address given by McDonald at “Medicine for the 21st Century: Transplantation in the 90's and Beyond”, the 1990 Annenberg Conference sponsored by the American Medical Association.
The invitation that most surprised McDonald was to serve as the commentator for a discussion on “Issues Related to Race” at the Conference on Patient Selection Criteria in Organ Transplantation held in Dearborn, Michigan in 1989. His opening remarks revealed his feelings, “It is certainly unusual for a Louisiana surgeon to be invited to Michigan to comment upon issues related to race. I was so surprised by this invitation that I accepted without adequate reflection. Offensive to some, this subject is of necessity more philosophic than scientific. When such subjects are discussed the audience needs to be fully aware of the perspective of the speaker.”
He was the Surgical Grand Rounds lecturer at numerous teaching hospitals, including the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the Erie County Medical Center of the State University of New York, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Tulane University Medical Center, the University of New Jersey School of Medicine and the Baylor College of Medicine.
McDonald was the invited speaker at a number of conferences and symposia. Most of the conferences were devoted to transplantation and included, the Annual Conference of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization, the Combined Meeting of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the American Society of Transplant Physicians, the American Council on Transplantation, the First Annual Colorado Transplant Symposium, the Annual Conference of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization, the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, the Fourth International Congress of the Transplantation Society, (see also: 1 | 2) and the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the South-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation (see also).
In 1993, he returned to his home state of Mississippi to serve as the Distinguished Lecturer at the Field Hospital in Centreville, Mississippi. In his talk, "A Mississippian's Journey into Organ Transplantation", McDonald discussed his feelings about being a Mississippian and a southerner and how those feelings impacted upon his chosen career. Several years later, he returned to the site of his medical education and early academic career, when he spoke on “40 Years of Transplantation” to the Tulane Medical Alumni Study Club.
McDonald’s responsibilities as chairman of the Surgery Department included the education of medical students in the basic sciences curriculum. His areas of expertise were thyroid, parathyroid, calcium homeostasis and bone physiology; diagnosis of the acute abdomen (see also); surgery of the endocrine glands (see also); surgical aspects of the thyroid gland (see also: 1 | 2 | 3); and organ transplantation. Dr. McDonald estimates that he had a role in the education of more than 5000 medical students throughout his academic career.
Because of their respect for McDonald's expertise and wisdom, the 2001 LSUHSC-S’s graduating class invited him to present their commencement address “A Brief History of the LSUHSC-S”. Two years later, in 2003, he was the commencement speaker at Louisiana State University in Eunice.
McDonald also shared his expertise with local colleagues in Shreveport, Monroe, and Alexandria. In lectures such as “Surgical Treatment of Hepatic Metastasis from Colon Cancer”, “Alternative Protocols of Immunosuppression which include Cyclosporin-A”, “History of Transplantation”, “Pharmacology of Organ Transplantation”, “Challenge of Transplantation”, “Historical Perspectives from the Surgeon’s Viewpoint” (see also), and “Transplantation as a Model of Medical Progress”, McDonald had the opportunity to bring a national perspective to local care.
Whether McDonald was speaking to a group of local medical students, to the alumni at his alma mater, or to an assembly of fellow scientists and surgeons, his remarks were always scientifically sound, philosophical, heartfelt, and witty.
Examples from various lectures, speeches, addresses and talks can be found in the Words of Wisdom section of this website.