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Pratt-Thomas publishes memoirs, history of MUSC

The president of the Medical College of South Carolina from 1962 to 1964 has written and published his memoirs at the urging of family and friends.

H. Rawling Pratt-Thomas, M.D., a graduate of this school in 1938 and professor emeritus of pathology, has written the saga of his birth in England to his childhood in rural Wedgefield, S.C., through medical school to the presidency of the Medical College.

To quote the editor's note in the back of the book, “Harold Rawling Pratt-Thomas, M.D., taught approximately 5,000 students in his 49 years as a member of the faculty of the medical school, which went through three name changes during his association with it as student and faculty member...Pratt-Thomas was responsible for establishing the School of Cytotechnology in 1960, among the earliest in the nation devoted to this discipline. He was awarded the Presidential Medallion from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1984 and received an honorary degree from the Medical University in 1991.” 

It was during Pratt-Thomas's tenure as president of the medical school that the Porter Military School property was acquired for a critical expansion program. The property encompasses the city block bordered by President, Doughty, Ashley and Bee streets.

In writing the book, which was produced with the technical and logistical assistance of the Waring Historical Library, the Waring Library Society of the Health Sciences Foundation and MUSC Digital Imaging, especially Rhett Chaplin and Bill Phillips, Pratt-Thomas used his 40 scrapbooks as reference material. He recalls his early childhood in England and his arrival in the United States when he was four years old. Included are recollections of his medical school days and what the medical school experience was like at that time. He recalls Medical College personalities including Drs. Cyril O'Driscoll, W. Atmar Smith, Olin Chamberlain, Kenneth Lynch, John van de Erve, Robert Wilson, Horace Smithy, Joseph Waring, Billy Dennis and Gordon Hennigar. 

The  book is available by mail for $25 from Pratt-Thomas, 25 Queen Street, Charleston, S.C., 29401.

Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to or To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Community Press at 849-1778.