D. Hayes Agnew (1818 -1892) was the first John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania from 1878 to 1889.
The Agnew Society is the oldest student run medical student society in the country, founded in 1888 as a surgical interest group.
Today, the goal of the Agnew Surgical Society is to serve as a link between surgical faculty and medical students, and to promote medical student interest in surgical careers. Throughout the year, the society sponsors a shadowing program for preclinical students, lectures by Penn Faculty, as well as a research fellowship program for MS1 students during the summer following the first year. In the spring, the Agnew Lecture is given at Surgical Grand Rounds. The Agnew speaker is chosen from a short list of surgical icons who are felt to represent the past, present and future of surgery in America. The society also sponsors a dinner preceding the lecture, at which students have the opportunity to interact with Surgical Faculty in a social setting.
Though the focus of the group has traditionally been on General Surgery and its subspecialties, students interested in all surgical fields are encouraged to participate.