Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

In Memoriam Exhibit: Dr. Arnold G. Diethelm

This exhibit celebrates the supporters of the UAB Libraries Historical Collections. It also shows users how to navigate the In Memoriam digital collection.

Diethelm Donations

Inscription: For Arnold Diethelm, A fine physician in the tradition of Osler. Many thanks to you on the 6th anniversary of my kidney transplant. Chet Scrignar, August 26, 1998. Taken from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Third Edition, 1996. 

 

The inscriptions shown here come from books from the personal library of Dr. Arnold G. Diethelm, donated by his family.

                                                                             

Inscription: Happy Birthday! To Gill Diethelm - [with] thanx for his helping John Kirklin lead Alabama into the world of modern medicine - Jim Pittman - 13 January 2004 (& for preserving clinical care at UAB!) Taken from: Wanderjahr: The Education of a Surgeon, Edward D. Churchill, 1990.

UAB Transplantation Division History

Archives of the Southern Surgical Association

Transactions of the Southern Surgical Association 

Dr. Arnold G. Diethelm was a long-time member of the Southern Surgical Association and played a large role in UAB's Lister Hill Library becoming the official archival repository for the association in 1987. As the chair of the UAB Department of Surgery at the time, he pledged funding for the repository and encouraged others to do the same in order to ensure the ongoing care and development of the collection. He also served as president of the organization from 1988-1989. Click here to view his presidential address.

Also, view the other digitized volumes from the digital collection, here.

Arnold G. "Gill" Diethelm, MD

Arnold Gillespie “Gil” Diethelm was born 1932 in Baltimore, Maryland, and died at his home in Mountain Brook on January 28, 2021. He was 89 years old.

Diethelm graduated from Washington State University in 1953, where he was a member of the Cougars football team, and received his MD from Cornell Medical College in 1958. He completed an internship and residency at The New York Hospital and from 1966 until 1967 held a research fellowship in surgery at Harvard University. He was recruited to UAB in 1967 by Dr. John W. Kirklin, the chair of the surgery department, and was charged with establishing a transplant program at UAB. 

 

Dr. Diethelm would lead the team that in 1968 performed the first kidney transplant in the state of Alabama. He helped develop the Alabama Organ and Tissue Procurement Centers and, because of Diethelm’s direction and leadership, the transplant program at UAB has grown to one of the largest such programs in the country. Diethelm succeeded his mentor, Dr. Kirklin, and served as chair of the Department of Surgery from 1982 until 1999. He was also director of the Division of General Surgery from 1977 until 1991 and director of the Division of Transplantation from 1991 until 1999. Diethelm joined the university faculty in 1967 as an assistant professor and was appointed a full professor in 1973. Dr. Diethelm was named a professor emeritus upon his retirement in 2000. He was selected in 1994 as the UAB Distinguished Faculty Lecturer and he was awarded an honorary degree from UAB. 

 

Dr. Diethelm was a long-time member of the steering committee of the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library and was a member of the UAB Archives Advisory Committee. The UAB Libraries contains the Arnold G. Diethelm American Civil War Medicine Collection as part of the collections of the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library. Dr. Diethelm held office in several professional societies and served as the president of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the president of the Southern Surgical Association, the president of the Halsted Society, and as a director of the American Board of Surgery.  His numerous professional and learned society memberships include the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Association for Academic Surgery, International Society for Surgery, Medical Association of the State of Alabama, National Kidney Foundation, Royal Society of Medicine, and Society of University Surgeons. He was awarded the 1998 Gift of Life Courage Award by the Alabama Kidney Foundation and was elected to the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame in 2004.

Dr. Diethelm was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Oskar and Grace, by a son, Gene, and by his wife, Nancy Lane. He was survived by three daughters, one son, six grandchildren, and a sister.

 

Travenol Dialysis Machine

This fully integrated dialysis delivery system was developed in 1967. On May 8, 1968, UAB Surgeon Arnold G. Diethelm performed the first transplantation of a kidney, the first of any organ in Alabama. This machine was used at University Hospital through the 1980s. Treatment time lasted six hours and could occur one to three times a week depending on the condition of the patient.

This fully integrated dialysis delivery system was developed in 1967. On May 8, 1968, UAB Surgeon Arnold G. Diethelm performed the first transplantation of a kidney, the first of any organ in Alabama. This machine was used at University Hospital through the 1980s. Treatment time lasted six hours and could occur one to three times a week depending on the condition of the patient.

This fully integrated dialysis delivery system was developed in 1967. On May 8, 1968, UAB Surgeon Arnold G. Diethelm performed the first transplantation of a kidney, the first of any organ in Alabama. This machine was used at University Hospital through the 1980s. Treatment time lasted six hours and could occur one to three times a week depending on the condition of the patient.

This fully integrated dialysis delivery system was developed in 1967. On May 8, 1968, UAB Surgeon Arnold G. Diethelm performed the first transplantation of a kidney, the first of any organ in Alabama. This machine was used at University Hospital through the 1980s. Treatment time lasted six hours and could occur one to three times a week depending on the condition of the patient.

This fully integrated dialysis delivery system was developed in 1967. On May 8, 1968, UAB Surgeon Arnold G. Diethelm performed the first transplantation of a kidney, the first of any organ in Alabama. This machine was used at University Hospital through the 1980s. Treatment time lasted six hours and could occur one to three times a week depending on the condition of the patient.

This fully integrated dialysis delivery system was developed in 1967. On May 8, 1968, UAB Surgeon Arnold G. Diethelm performed the first transplantation of a kidney, the first of any organ in Alabama. This machine was used at University Hospital through the 1980s. Treatment time lasted six hours and could occur one to three times a week depending on the condition of the patient.

Civil War Collection

Neurosurgery Collection

The pamphlets listed below are part of the Galbraith/Harsh/Morawetz Neurosurgery Collection, named in honor of three previous directors of the UAB Division of Neurosurgery. The materials to establish this collection held within the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library were donated largely by Dr. Arnold G. Diethelm, including these pamphlets.

© UAB Libraries ι University of Alabama at Birmingham ι About Us ιContact Us ι Disclaimer