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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 84« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Robert Shaw)

Mr. Specter.
Dr. SHAW. Robert Roeder Shaw.
Mr. Specter.
And what is your profession, sir?
Dr. SHAW. Physician and surgeon.
Mr. Specter.
Will you outline briefly your educational background, please?
Dr. SHAW. I received my B.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1927 and M.D. degree in 1933. My surgical training was obtained at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, July 1934 to July 1936, and my training in thoracic surgery at the University Hospital, Ann Arbor, Mich, July 1936 to July 1938. Do you want me to say what happened subsequent to then ?

Mr. SPECTER. Yes; will you outline your medical career in brief form subsequent to that date, please?
Dr. SHAW. I entered private practice, limited to thoracic surgery, August 1, 1938. I have continuously practiced this specialty in Dallas, with the exception of the period from June 1942 to December 1945, when I was a member of the Medical Corps of the Army of the United States, serving almost all of this period in the European theatre of operations. I was again absent from Dallas from December 1961 until June 1963, when I headed the medico team and performed surgery at the Avicenna Hospital at Kabul, Afghanistan.
Mr. Specter.
Are you Board certified, Dr. Shaw?
Dr. SHAW. Yes. I am certified 'by the Board of Thoracic Surgery, date of certification--1948. At the present time I am professor of thoracic surgery and chairman of the division of thoracic surgery at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School.
Mr. Specter.
Did you have occasion to perform any medical care for President Kennedy on November 22, 1963?
Dr. SHAW. No.
Mr. Specter.
Did you have occasion to care for Governor Connally?
Dr. SHAW. Yes.

Mr. SPECTER. Would you relate the circumstances of your being called in to care for the Governor, please?
Dr. SHAW. I was returning to Parkland Hospital and the medical school from a conference I had attended at Woodlawn Hospital, which is approximately a mile away, when I saw an open limousine going past the intersection of Industrial Boulevard and Harry Hines Boulevard under police escort. As soon as traffic had cleared, I proceeded on to the medical school. On the car radio I heard that the President had been shot at while riding in the motorcade. Upon entering the medical school, a medical student came in and joined three other medical students. He stated that President Kennedy had been brought in dead on arrival to the emergency room of Parkland Hospital and that Governor Connally had been shot through the chest. Upon hearing this, I proceeded immediately to the emergency room of the hospital and arrived at the emergency room approximately 5 minutes after the President and Governor Connally had arrived.
Mr. Specter.
Where did you find Governor Connally at that time, Dr. Shaw?
Dr. SHAW. I found Governor Connally lying on a stretcher in emergency room No. 2. In attendance were several men, Dr. James Duke, Dr. David Mebane, Dr. Giesecke, an anesthesiologist. As emergency measures, the open wound on the Governor's right chest had been covered with. a heavy dressing and manual pressure was being applied. A drainage tube had been inserted into the second interspace in the anterior portion of the right chest and connected to a water-sealed bottle to bring about partial reexpansion of the collapsed right lung. An intravenous needle had been inserted into a vein in the left arm and intravenous fluid was running.

I was informed by Dr. Duke that blood had already been drawn and sent to the laboratory to be crossmatched with 4 pints of blood to be available at surgery. He also stated that the operating room had been alerted and that they were merely waiting for my arrival to take the Governor to surgery, since it was obvious that the wound would have to be debrided and closed.
Mr..SPECTER. At what time did the operation actually start, Dr. Shaw?
Dr. SHAW. That, I would have to refresh my memory on that--now, this, of course--the point he began the anesthesia--that would be about right--but I have to refresh my memory.
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