Thomas Haynie, MD
13th president of the Southwestern Chapter (term ending 1969)


September 2, 2004

DR. PAUL MURPHY: The date is September 2, 2004. This is Paul Murphy interviewing Dr. Thomas Haynie who was President of the Southwestern Chapter in 1969. Dr. Haynie, how did you first become involved with Chapter leadership?

DR. HAYNIE: I was trained in nuclear medicine in Ann Arbor and joined the Society as a Central Chapter member. When I moved to the medical branch in Galveston in 1963, I attended a Southwestern Chapter meeting which was held in New Orleans in the Fairmont Hotel. I remember it was a joint meeting with the Southeast Chapter. 

I also remember I was informed that to transfer my membership I would have to pass an examination, and that was administered to me in New Orleans at the meeting by Dr. Herbert Allen, and a physicist from Dallas. I passed, and the next year, in '64, the meeting was in Houston at the Shamrock Hotel, and I presented a paper there. And at that meeting I was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Southwestern Chapter, and I got involved in the Chapter and stayed active in it. 

DR. MURPHY: What are the highlights of your time with the Chapter that make you the most proud? 

DR. HAYNIE: Well, I think that would be in 1968-1969 when I was President of the Chapter, and the National Society meeting was held in Seattle, and Merrill Bender had been President of the National Society in 1967-1968. And Merrill recruited me for a task at National because of my experience at the Chapter level. You see, at the Southwestern Chapter we had been wrestling with what to do with technical affiliates, a category of members who couldn't vote and hold office, and the technologists wanted some independence; and so we had hit upon the idea in the Southwestern Chapter to create what we called a Technologist’s Section for them to have their own officers and put on their own program, and we did that in probably ‘67 or '68. 

We had a couple of meetings where this idea took root and flourished in the Southwestern Chapter, so in '69, Merrill asked me to do the same thing at the National, and he appointed me as Chairman of the Technologists Affairs Committee, and we wrote to all the chapters and got delegates sent to the meeting, which was held in St. Louis in '68. Then, Gary Wood—who was my Chief technologist at M.D. Anderson—and I worked up some bylaws for National, and they were presented to the Board of Trustees in '69, and in '70 the Technologists Section at the national level began, and I think that's probably the most significant thing that I contributed to during my time. 

DR. MURPHY: What disappointments, failures, or disasters come to mind during the leadership years with the Chapter?

DR. HAYNIE: Well, the thing I remember about my presidency was that the meeting was scheduled to be held in San Antonio. San Antonio had just had Hemisphere and had built this new hotel, the Hilton Palacio del Rio, and we didn't have an executive director, so the officers managed the meeting themselves. 

So I went with a couple of local members to San Antonio. We talked to the Hilton, and we reserved rooms for the meeting and reserved the top floor for the exhibit space. Shortly before the meeting, we were informed that they had booked another convention that was going to use the top floor, and besides that, there was no way to get cameras up the elevators to the top floor, so we couldn't have that space for our exhibit, and we went to the Hilton to complain about that, but the people who we'd made the deal with to begin with were no longer there—we had all new people. 

And what they said was, well, right across the street is the big convention center, and you can get space in there for the exhibits, and we actually moved the whole meeting there, and I think it was the first time that the Southwestern Chapter had really used a convention center, and it turned out to be a very successful meeting. Up until that time, they had mostly done it in hotels.

DR. MURPHY: Who's the most memorable person you have come in contact with in the chapter leadership? Can you describe or relate a story about him or her.

DR. HAYNIE: Well, there are many people you could point to, but I would say the one that pops into my mind first is J.R. Maxfield. When I came to the Southwestern Chapter, he was the President of the national organization, and actually the Society met in Dallas in 1962. And the thing that struck me about J. R. was that he wore a cowboy hat and boots and was all Texan, and he whooped it up and really was enthusiastic about nuclear medicine. Although he was a very controversial figure, he was a strong advocate for the Society. And that he got National to meet in Texas did a lot for us. 

DR. MURPHY: What is special or unique about the Southwestern Chapter?

DR. HAYNIE: Well, the thing that we always pointed to was that we were an independently chartered corporation called the Southwestern Society of Nuclear Medicine, which was incorporated in Texas at about the same time as the national organization was organized. Later, the Southwestern Society became the Southwestern Chapter, but we always felt we were just a little bit different than a lot of other chapters. 

I think the Southeastern was also separately incorporated, and so there was always a state's-rights kind of an issue that circulated around whenever things were proposed. 

I remember that at the National meeting in St. Louis in 1968, Joe Ross was doing a revision of the bylaws, and there was an attempt at that time to create a uniform kind of a chapter affiliation agreement which the Southwestern Chapter resisted and prevented it from becoming a fact.

DR. MURPHY: Irrespective of Chapter involvement, what are some highlights of your own practice of nuclear medicine? 

DR. HAYNIE: Well, as a say, I trained at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor with Bill Beierwaltes and got into nuclear medicine through thyroid gland studies. When I decided to come back to Texas, I looked around for a spot and found an opening in Galveston, and I went to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1962 and started a nuclear medicine service. 

And after three years of that, I was offered a position at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which I accepted. I came here in 1965 and spent 30 years building the Department of Nuclear Medicine at M.D. Anderson, and I retired in 1995. I think there are many highlights that I could point to, but I can't think of them right now.

DR. MURPHY: Well, let me help you. Editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Vice President of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. Keep going.

DR. HAYNIE: Well, yeah. After the organization of Technologists Section, I got known pretty well nationally, and so I was elected to the Board of Trustees at the National Society and then -- let me see. When Doug Maynard was President, I was Vice President. Let's see, yes, that was 1978 to 1979, and then after that I was nominated and elected as Secretary, and I was Secretary at the time John Burdine was President of the Society. 

The thing I remember about John was at one Board of Trustees meeting he was chairing, and I was sitting next to him as the Secretary, he had all his papers spread in front of me, and I had a cup of coffee and managed to spill it all over his papers. 

After that, the position of editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine became open because Frank Deland had finished his second term and could not be re-elected. I had always been interested in journal editing and had served as a reviewer and on the board of editors of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, so I put in a proposal which utilized some of the publications people at M.D. Anderson—that would have been in ’83 or ‘84.

The Southwestern Chapter nominated me for President of the National Society, and I thought, well, I couldn't be editor and president, and I had to pick which one I was going to do. I picked the editorship, and that got me involved with a lot of people that I otherwise wouldn't have had contact with. 

I found it to be a stressful job. After five years I had just about burned out on it, so I didn't go for another term as editor, and although the Chapter did put my name in nomination at least once after I stepped down, I never got on the ballot to be President.

DR. MURPHY: What do you believe is the future direction of nuclear medicine?

DR. HAYNIE: Well, that's a tough question. Of course right now it looks like that the integration of nuclear medicine with the other imaging modalities is bringing the field much closer to radiology than we had before, and it seems that there's going to be a question raised whether nuclear medicine can actually be practiced apart from radiology. 

It's PET/CT or CT/PET where all the action seems to be, although the practice of nuclear medicine that I see over at Ben Taub is still pretty much thyroid, cardiac, bone scanning, and I think that's going to continue to be the backbone of nuclear medicine, but PET itself—who knows where it's going?

DR. MURPHY: Do you have any other comments that you'd like to make about the Chapter or the National SNM or your career in nuclear medicine?

DR. HAYNIE: Well, I've certainly enjoyed my career in nuclear medicine. It's provided me contacts all over the nation and all around the world, and at one time I looked back over it and said about every ten years the field seems to just turn itself over. We do things differently today than we did ten years ago pretty much, and ten years from now we’ll probably continue to do things differently. So I think that the attraction to nuclear medicine is that it couples science and technology with medicine in a way that has a tremendous impact. 

DR. MURPHY: Thank you.