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Laurens R. Pickard, MD

  • Thoracic Diseases
  • General Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
Languages Spoken:
  • English

Laurens Pickard, M.D., was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He devoted some time to sports, but overall, he spent more time with music. He settled on guitar and played in some rock bands with some success making a little money during high school and college. He went to college in Texas and decided to pursue a medical career. He was drawn to the idea of helping people and had always liked science. He was also in awe of doctors and nurses who had the knowledge and skill to help people who were suffering.

Dr. Pickard went to Medical School at UTMB (Galveston). He was excited to be learning about medicine -- a new, wonderful world that would become his life's work.

Dr. Pickard was fascinated by every specialty that he saw as he rotated on clinical services in medical school, but his top interests were pediatric surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and pediatrics. He was especially inspired by the chief of pediatric surgery, Dr. Ken Tyson. Dr. Pickard talked to him about what he needed to do to follow his "track” which shaped his goals and plans for future training and practice.

The first phase was a general surgery residency which was five years in Houston at Hermann Hospital/UT Houston. The next phase was a thoracic surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston & Affiliated Hospitals for two years, under the leadership of Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. Following that time was a pediatric surgery residency for two years at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Pickard's chief and mentor was Dr. Alex Haller who was a leader in the field of pectus correction. He inspired a great interest in Dr. Pickard for this area. At this point, Dr. Pickard realized that he wanted to primarily pursue a career in adult cardiothoracic and vascular surgery for which he was trained, but also to continue some surgical care of children and to even continue some practice of general surgery. He came back to Houston and joined the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine Department of Surgery and practiced at all of the affiliated hospitals. During this time, he also did a lot of teaching, administrative work and some writing of medical literature.

During this time, the early 80's, he was unexpectedly invited to join the staff at Shriners Children's to help with spinal orthopedic procedures that involve opening the chest cavity. Dr. Pickard immediately accepted. He didn't know much about Shriners Children's at the time. But, this was one of many occurrences of serendipity that has shaped his life in unexpected ways. The chief of staff at that time asked Dr. Pickard if he would like to see patients with pectus deformities. The hospital had not worked in this area before, but they did get requests for it. Dr. Pickard agreed to see them and this, more-or-less, began the "thoracic service" at Shriners Children's Houston. Dr. Pickard continued this professional profile until 1993 at which time he went into private practice and later retired. Throughout it all, Dr. Pickard has continued his work at Shriners Children's - a cherished component of his career.

Recently, he has been working on a method of achieving optimal positioning of the implant during the operation used for pectus excavatum correction to hopefully lead toward a "best result." To his knowledge, this technique had never been used before. He says it is a privilege helping children and families and supporting the mission of Shriners Children's. There is a special camaraderie of the staff that is inspirational. Dr. Pickard gives much credit to the Shriners organization for the existence of an atmosphere of shared commitment. He appreciates the high standard of care and professionalism at Shriners Children's Houston.

Dr. Pickard is blessed to have a wonderful wife, three children and four grandchildren. He has a number of hobbies including running. It has been fun to share running stories and Houston Marathon experiences with colleagues and staff who are runners at Shriners Children's Houston.

Pediatric Care


  • General Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Thoracic Diseases

More About Me

Board Certifications
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic Diseases, Thoracic Surgery - General
Education and Training

Medical Education
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX

University of Texas Health Science Center
Houston, TX
United States of America

Hermann Hospital and MD Anderson
Houston, TX

Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX

Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD
United States of America

Academic Positions and Locations

Baylor College of Medicine
Clinical Assistant Professor

Leadership and Memberships
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American College of Cardiology
  • Society for Vascular Surgery
  • Southern Thoracic Surgical Association
  • Western Surgical Association


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