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Dr. Bette Catoe

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Information about Dr. Bette Catoe

Profile image of Dr. Bette Catoe

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Pediatrician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
What does that have to do with the price of rice in China?

Birthplace

Born:
4/7/1926
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Pediatrician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
What does that have to do with the price of rice in China?

Birthplace

Born:
4/7/1926
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Dr. Bette Catoe is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Pediatrician Dr. Bette Lorrina Catoe-Strudwick was born on April 7, 1926 in Washington, D.C. Her mother was a White House pastry chef and government worker and her father was a taxicab owner and driver. Catoe’s parents divorced when she was a young child at which point her mother gained custody and raised her in Washington, D.C. She was educated in Washington, D.C. public schools and received her high school diploma from Dunbar High School in 1944.

Catoe received a full academic scholarship from Howard University, where she earned her B.S. degree in chemistry and physics in 1948. Her career ambition was to become a nurse or lab technician until she received a scholarship to Howard University’s Medical School. While a medical school student, she pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and married her husband, Warren Strudwick. She was only one of seven women in her graduating class when she received her M.D. degree in 1951. In 1956, she began practicing pediatrics in the basement of her home, allowing her to work full time and raise her three children. In 1958, she helped to integrate Washington, D.C. hospitals. She moved her home-based medical practice into a downtown Washington office. By 1971, she had seen thousands of children and continued to provide medical assistance until she retired in 2003. In 1966, Catoe was elected as an at-large member of the Board of Trustees of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, a post she served in for over thirty years. Ten years later, she was elected as a delegate to the 1976 National Democratic Convention in New York.

Her involvement in a number of civic organizations including the AKA Sorority, Jack and Jill of America, the NAACP, the Urban League and the Links. Catoe and her husband, Dr. Warren Strudwick, have three grown children; two are physicians and the other is an attorney.

Dr. Bette Catoe was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2004.

See how Dr. Bette Catoe is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Bette Catoe's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Bette Catoe lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her mother's childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her father's childhood and her parents' marriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks briefly about her maternal family ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Bette Catoe remembers her maternal grandmother and great-grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her relationship with her paternal great aunt and uncle
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about attending Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School in Washington, D.C., pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her earliest childhood memories in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. Bette Catoe narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about attending Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School in Washington, D.C., pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her childhood personality and interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes developing an interest in medicine and dropping out of high school for one year
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes attending Garnet-Patterson Junior High School and Banneker Junior High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes herself and social interests as an adolescent
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks briefly about her childhood experience in the church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her childhood aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes the influence of her mother and junior high school teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks briefly about her relationship with her father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her paternal uncle's murder conviction and describes how it affected her experience at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes graduating from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and explains what factors influenced her to attend college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her admission to Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her experience as an undergraduate student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes pledging the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in her first year of medical school in the Howard University College of Medicine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her favorite subjects in medical school and meeting her husband, HistoryMaker Dr. Warren Strudwick, Sr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her mother's response to her admission into Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her experience being a woman in medical school in the late-1940s and early-1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her children's occupations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about graduating from the Howard University College of Medicine in 1951
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes opening a pediatric private practice in her home in 1956, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Bette Catoe explains why she decided to retire
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes opening a pediatric private practice in her home in 1956, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her early patients and talks about the emergence of malpractice insurance
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes integrating Washington, D.C. hospitals with her husband, HistoryMaker Dr. Warren Strudwick, Sr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Dr. Bette Catoe remembers her former resident HistoryMaker Dr. Lillian M. Beard, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Bette Catoe remembers her former resident, HistoryMaker Dr. Lillian M. Beard, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes the changes she observed in her patients from 1956 to 2003
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes changes she's observed in pediatric care and patient illness
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about how an increase in youth violence has affected pediatric care
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about contemporary teenage pregnancy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes attending the National Democratic Convention in Madison Square Garden as a delegate in 1976
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about the closing of District of Columbia General Hospital in 2001
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Bette Catoe reflects over her life and career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Bette Catoe shares her advice to young women interested in a career in medicine and considers what she may have done differently in her life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about health disparities between African American and white communities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes the significance of the preservation of African American history
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Dr. Bette Catoe reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Dr. Bette Catoe narrates her photographs, pt. 2