University Surgeons Associates

Henry Sperry Nelson, Jr., MD, FACS

Henry S. Nelson, JR., MD, FACS Hobart E. Akin, MD

Board Certification

American Board of Surgery


Medical School: The University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences
Internship: The University of Tennessee Medical Center
Residency: The University of Tennessee Medical Center
Faculty Appointment: The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine

Endocrine surgery, minimally invasive surgery and breast surgery are special interests of Dr. Nelson.  He has expertise in thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, advanced laparoscopic, breast, hernia, wound care and general surgical procedures.  He is a surgeon on the University of Tennessee Breast Care Service, Gastrointestinal Tumor Service  and University Wound Care & Hyperbarics Center.  He participates in the weekly multidisciplinary Breast and Tumor Conferences.

Dr. Nelson joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville in January 1977.  He now holds the positions of Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Division of General Surgery and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Surgery.  Dr. Nelson graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  He completed his medical school training at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.  His internship and residency were accomplished at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Dr. Nelson served as Acting Chairman of the Department of Surgery and General Surgery Residency Program Director at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville from 1982 to 1983 and again from 1992 to 1995.  He is a member of a number of medical societies including the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, the Society of Laproendoscopic Surgeons, the International Society of Surgery and a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. Awards include the Housestaff Association Education Award 1982-1983, the Department of Surgery Faculty Teaching Award in 1990 & 2007, the Graduate School of Medicine Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007 and the Spirit of the Graduate School of Medicine Award in 2009.  Dr. Nelson has published many journal articles, book chapters, films and abstracts in the field of General Surgery.  He has served as course director and/or faculty at numerous laparoscopic training courses locally, regionally and internationally. He has established The University of Tennessee Rural Surgery Endowment Fund and The Nelson Chair of Excellence in General Surgery at The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine. He grew up the son of medical missionaries to China and Africa.  He is an avid hiker, sailor and fisherman.  He has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.  He has climbed several “fourteeners” in Colorado and has hiked numerous areas in the Smokies and on the Appalachian Trail. He has open sea sailed Boston to the Bras D’Or, Nova Scotia, Boston to the British Virgin Islands and Mallorca to the Canary Islands, as well as sailed Tonga in the South Pacific.

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