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JEMS Editorial Board Member Killed in Iraq


It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death of Major John Pryor, MD, a member of theJEMSEditorial Board who was killed by mortar fire on Christmas Day in Iraq while serving as a trauma surgeon in the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps., 1st Forward Surgical Team (FST).

Dr. Pryor was a trauma-critical care surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and served as Penn's Trauma Program Director and the Director of the Office of Life Support Education for the Division of Trauma. He completed medical school and general surgery training at the University of Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y., and completed fellowship training in trauma surgery and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania.

He joined the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps. after the attacks of 9/11 and served two active duty tours as the trauma surgeon for the 344th Combat Support Hospital in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, during 2006, and then with the 1st FST in 2008.

He focused on clinical research in the areas of trauma, critical care and acute care surgery. His areas of special interest included thoracic trauma, vascular injury, disaster management, prehospital trauma care, development of the acute care surgery model, appendicitis and care of the open abdominal wound.

Some of Dr. Pryor's popular JEMS articles included:

  • "Unmask thoracic injuries: 3 cases to help you zero in on severe chest injuries in the field." April 2002JEMS, p. 62-73.
  • "Beyond the battlefield: The use of hemostatic dressings."March 2008JEMS, p. 102-109. (Co-authored by Jason Zeller, BS, NREMT-B, and Adam Fox, DO, DPM)

Dr. Pryor's work was featured in the Washington Post on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007. He wrote a compelling article on urban trauma entitled,"The War in West Philadelphia"from his perspective as a civilian and military trauma surgeon.

On Aug. 13, 2007, Dr. Pryor was featured on NPR Radio, discussing his "War at Home" article and describing the significant problem of urban violence, particularly in the West Philadelphia area near the University of Pennsylvania. You canlisten to his interview on NPR.

Dr. Pryor was a close friend and colleague of JEMS Medical Editor Ed Dickinson, MD, a member of the emergency department staff at the University of Pennsylvania.

John's favorite quote, by Albert Schweitzer, hangs in his office and captures the essence of John Pryor:

" Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who need help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. For remember, you don't lie in a world all your own. Your brothers are here, too."

Funeral arrangements for Dr. Pryor and other information will be posted on jems.com.

To post a tribute message or links to others articles about Dr. Pryor, please visit this page onJEMS Connect.

UPDATE 12/30/08:

A Public Wake will be held at:

Moorestown Memorial Home

334 Chester Ave.

Moorestown, NJ 08057

Cards and Letters of Condolences may be sent to the Moorestown Memorial Home at the above address.

A Public Funeral Mass will be held at:

Cathedral Basilica Of Saints Peter and Paul

18th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Philadelphia, PA 19103


The Schedule for this Mass will be announced when Dover AFB processing is complete.


With the Public Response to John s Death his Family asks that the public consider donations to these charities in Lieu of Flowers:

An Educational Trust Fund for the Children of Dr. John Pryor: Additional information on how to donate to this fund will be posted atwww.drjohnpryor.comin the near future.

The National Military Family Association

The Fisher House (Helping Military Families)

For more information, visitwww.drjohnpryor.com.


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