William W. Turner, M.D.

William W. Turner, M.D.

  • Carla and Paul Bass Professorship in Medical Education Honoring Charles C. Sprague, M.D.
  • Alvin Baldwin, Jr. Chair in Surgery
  • Surgery - Burn, Trauma, Acute and Critical Care Surgery
  • Hernia & Abdominal Wall Repair Surgery
  • General Surgical Procedures


William W. Turner Jr., M.D., is a Professor in the Division of Gastrointestinal and Acute Care Surgery in the Department of Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Turner holds the Carla and Paul Bass Professorship in Medical Education Honoring Charles C. Sprague, M.D., and the Alvin Baldwin, Jr. Chair in Surgery. He is also Master of Sprague College at UT Southwestern.

After earning his medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Turner completed his residency in general surgery at UT Southwestern. He served in the United States Air Force, Reserve Medical Corps for five years; and in the United States Air Force, Active Duty Medical Corps for two years.

Dr. Turner spent the first 15 years of his academic medicine career at UT Southwestern. He then took positions at Indiana University School of Medicine and Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In 1998 he became the James D. Hardy Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He was also a Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences. Dr. Turner returned to UT Southwestern in 2007. 

He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Dallas County Medical Society, the Parkland Surgical Society, the Southwestern Surgical Congress, the Texas Medical Association, and the Southern Surgical Association, among other professional organizations.

Meet Dr. Turner

Dallas General Surgeon Specializing in Abdominal Disorders

With thousands of operations under his belt, Dr. Turner is an expert in surgically treating abdominal disorders and benign soft tissue diseases. Abdominal diseases include gallbladder and bile duct disease, small intestinal disorders, and abdominal wall and inguinal hernias.

Dr. Turner's passion lies in performing operations and teaching residents and medical students.

He is skilled in laparoscopic and open techniques, and some of his most common procedures include gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) and inguinal and abdominal wall hernia repair.

He keeps his skills honed in part through a visualization technique he learned while he worked at a hospital that collaborated with the Indianapolis 500 during the 1990s. When a racecar driver sits in his car alone before a race, seemingly in a trancelike state, he is “driving the track” in his mind. Dr. Turner prepares for operations in a similar fashion. He re-studies the anatomy before operations, and he thinks his way through each step of what he’s about to do. 

Dr. Turner believes it’s important to explain to patients the role that surgery plays in treating their disease – how it will affect their symptoms, and what they will feel like during recovery. 

“I try to put myself in my patient’s shoes,” he says. “I want to give them an accurate view of the procedure and a sense of confidence in their surgeon.”

Dr. Turner has been involved with academic medicine his entire career, and he is a firm believer in the high level of care academic medical centers such as UT Southwestern provide.

“It’s where I’ve sought my care and where I have referred my wife and many friends,” he says. “Better care comes from asking questions and researching the answers and asking more questions. That’s what we do at UT Southwestern.”

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Education & Training
  • Residency - UT Southwestern Medical School (1972-1977), General Surgery
  • Medical School - Tulane University School of Medicine (1968-1972)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Western Surgical Association
  • Southern Surgical Association
  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Midwest Surgical Association
  • American College of Surgeons
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor 2020
  • AOA 1972
Books & Publications
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Hepatobiliary disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease

Clinical Focus

  • Hernia & Abdominal Wall Repair Surgery
  • General Surgical Procedures
  • Gastrointestinal Surgery
  • Gallbladder Surgery
  • Biliary Tract Disorders

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Q&A by Dr. Turner

2021 Leaders in Clinical Excellence video: Dr. William Turner Jr.