Prof. Kenneth L. Mattox: we can always do better
Meet the Professor

Prof. Kenneth L. Mattox: we can always do better

Received: 30 October 2015; Accepted: 20 November 2015; Published 26 January 2016.

doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2221-2965.2015.12.07

In the American College of Surgeons (ACS) 2015 clinical Congress held on October 4–8 in Chicago, we were honored to meet Prof. Kenneth L. Mattox, the ACS Second Vice President and conduct an interview with him (Figure 1). In the interview, Prof. Mattox has shared with us his experience of being a trauma surgeon and his reflection on being a surgeon, which provides a reference for future career of young surgeons (Figures 1,2).

Figure 1 Prof. Mattox with Journal of Visualized Surgery (JOVS) editor.
Figure 2 Interview with Prof. Kenneth L. Mattox (1). Available online:


Dr. Kenneth L. Mattox is a Distinguished Service Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and Chief of Staff and Surgeon-in-Chief at Ben Taub Hospital, where he has worked since 1973. BTH has been at the forefront of surgical critical care, breaking ground with its automated system for the storage and retrieval of laboratory data in 1975. Dr. Mattox helped develop the internationally renowned Ben Taub Hospital Emergency Center and its equally respected Trauma Center.

His reputation as an innovator in trauma care is known worldwide. Dr. Mattox is past President of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and Secretary-Treasurer of the Michael E. DeBakey International Surgical Society. He previously chaired the Mayor’s Red Ribbon Committee to address Houston Fire Department Emergency Medical Services, and sat on the Hospital Subcommittee of the Mayor’s Special Task Force on the Medical Aspects of Disaster.

Currently, Dr. Mattox serves as consultant to the Center for Biologic Evaluation and Research of the FDA. Dr. Mattox has served on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Houston, Doctors’ Club of Houston, Wayland Baptist University, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the Southeast Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council, the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors, and serves as Chairman of the Board of the John P. McGovern Museum for Health & Medical Science.

Interview questions

  • What is your impression of being a trauma surgeon?
  • From an experienced cardiothoracic surgeon to an excellent trauma surgeon, is this a change of your research interest and why is that?
  • Experience in dealing with the disaster facing a trauma surgeon, taking the medical aid during a hurricane in 2005 as an example.
  • How to keep a calm head during a critical situation?
  • The most important lesson learned in trauma surgery.
  • Piece of advice for trainees in surgery of trauma and patients.




Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


  1. Li GS. Interview with Prof. Kenneth L. Mattox. Asvide 2016;3:027. Available online: articles/778

(Managing Editor: Grace S. Li, JOVS,

doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2221-2965.2015.12.07
Cite this article as: Li GS. Prof. Kenneth L. Mattox: we can always do better. J Vis Surg 2016;2:19.