Harold D. Paxton’s distinguished medical career has spanned more than 50 years. Dr. Paxton joined the faculty of the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in 1956 as a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Neurosurgery. In 1967, he was appointed professor and head of the division, retiring in 1991 as professor emeritus.
Dr. Paxton’s academic accomplishments have been widely praised by his colleagues and peers. He pioneered major advancements in neurological surgery research and surgical techniques; published numerous books, monographs and articles; and provided strong leadership to the OHSU neurological surgery teaching faculty in their training of graduate residents preparing for neurosurgical careers. As a professor of neurosurgery, teacher and mentor, Dr. Paxton has profoundly influenced many neurosurgeons throughout his career and at OHSU. It is among his former students that “Pax” is held with the highest regard and deepest respect for his professionalism, expertise, compassion and humanism. In addition to his highly respected career as a physician and educator, Dr. Paxton has a deep interest in international neurosurgical education. During his career, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, where he established one of the first neurosurgical programs in Africa and also served as an advisor to the University of Nigeria, Benin City where he helped establish that country’s first medical school. A graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Paxton served as a neurosurgeon in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, retiring with the reserve grade of colonel.