The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.

Orthopaedic surgeon, chemical engineer and astronaut Robert Lee Satcher, Jr. was born on September 22, 1965 in Hampton, Virginia to Robert and Marian Satcher. Satcher graduated from Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, South Carolina, in 1982. He received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1986; his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from MIT in 1993; and his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994. Satcher completed his postdoctoral research fellowships at MIT in 1994 and University of California, Berkeley in 1998; internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco in 2000; and a fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Florida in 2001.

From 2001 to 2008, Satcher served as an assistant professor at The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was also an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois from 2001 to 2008, and served as a professor at the Institute for Bionanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University Medical Center. In addition, Satcher was an attending physician of orthopaedic oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2001 to 2008; and served as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University from 2002 to 2008.

Satcher joined NASA in 2004. In 2009, he became the first orthopaedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission, where he was a mission specialist and performed two spacewalks. Satcher left NASA in September 2011, and serves as a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Satcher’s professional organizations include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, American Academy of Cancer Research, Connective Tissue Oncology Society, National Medical Association, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, Doctors United in Medical Missions, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Telemedicine Association, Orthopaedic Research Society, MIT Alumni Association, Black Alumni at MIT and Harvard Alumni Association. In addition, he co-founded the eHealth Research Institute, is a user panel member of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and serves on the boards of CSTEM and Teach for America.

Satcher has been active in numerous community organizations, including Big Brother for Youth at Risk Counseling Program, Department of Corrections, San Francisco, California; Tutor for Black Student’s Union Tutorial Program, MIT; National Society of Black Engineers; American Institute of Chemical Engineering; Supervising Adult for Cub Scout Camp for Boys, Nashville, Tennessee; Open Airways Tutor (asthma awareness); Proctor for Freshman Dormitory at Harvard University; Lay Episcopal Minister at St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois and at St. James Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas. Satcher has also completed medical missions for outreach care to underserved areas in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Gabon.

Satcher was a National Merit Scholar, and received the Monsanto Award and the Albert G. Hill Award from MIT, fellowships from both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and UNCF/Merck Research department, and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He has been awarded two honorary doctorates of science, and was selected as a finalist in Tuskegee University’s presidency search in 2010.

Robert Satcher, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 3, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.047

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/3/2014 |and| 5/7/2014

Last Name

Satcher

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Lee

Schools

Denmark-Olar High School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard Medical School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

SAT03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/22/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Unsalted Peanuts

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon, chemical engineer, and astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. (1965 - ) was a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He became the first orthopedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission.

Employment

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Northwestern University

NASA Johnson Space Center

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:625,88:12015,252:12440,258:19848,331:25180,438:25524,443:26900,468:27760,479:28104,484:28448,489:31372,545:31716,550:34124,587:35070,603:35672,611:38510,675:46061,731:46385,736:47114,746:48491,774:52217,852:56348,912:57158,925:58859,949:59183,954:60074,968:60803,978:61370,986:66992,1012:67356,1017:68539,1032:70268,1067:72998,1123:74090,1157:74545,1163:75182,1171:100792,1478:101380,1486:108320,1557:108824,1565:109400,1574:114478,1646:116590,1683:117206,1692:123975,1751:125685,1784:133736,1863:134204,1871:135686,1892:137246,1927:137636,1933:143178,1959:150259,2073:150744,2079:151326,2086:153930,2095:156424,2155:156940,2162:158144,2182:158488,2187:163090,2218:163834,2227:167450,2311:176330,2457:176650,2462:177370,2472:183269,2488:184846,2508:185427,2517:186091,2527:187004,2540:187336,2545:192644,2597:201444,2700:201884,2706:202588,2716:202940,2721:207340,2835:207780,2846:208748,2860:209188,2892:218874,2964:219746,2973:220509,2981:228935,3046:229592,3058:236440,3181:237610,3200:238510,3211:239950,3230:240760,3240:243460,3282:244180,3291:245170,3304:245800,3312:249880,3333:250510,3343:251680,3357:258770,3419:261350,3448:262070,3464:263590,3487:265590,3514:270390,3615:271670,3647:271990,3652:272390,3663:275300,3668:276147,3680:277687,3717:279920,3770:287040,3863:288210,3893:293300,3941$0,0:8514,130:12270,171:12760,180:13320,189:15788,215:16444,225:16772,230:17428,239:21780,285:22640,324:29348,396:30122,407:38985,501:39538,509:44278,603:44673,609:49650,704:49966,709:55284,720:57363,757:58287,771:58826,785:59134,790:61059,819:61829,830:63754,868:64293,876:72701,981:74794,1019:77797,1081:82702,1126:97435,1361:99560,1393:99985,1399:109505,1579:110015,1586:114884,1608:129768,1787:141174,1892:141462,1897:142038,1906:144414,1955:155112,2110:164834,2224:170450,2307:171074,2320:171854,2331:178360,2383:187828,2476:194592,2618:195732,2643:201440,2695:208520,2783:208840,2788:209320,2795:216506,2877:216874,2882:218438,2892:236225,3016:236525,3021:240200,3098:264436,3434:267988,3487:271688,3563:276390,3570:280090,3638:280460,3644:280756,3649:286572,3697:298230,3855:304100,3912:304496,3920:304958,3928:308900,3961:312350,4011:315510,4032:315888,4039:324426,4132:324882,4139:329892,4197:330854,4211:345960,4459
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his parent's civil rights activism

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his father and when his parents first started dating

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers developing an interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his aspiration to become a pilot

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers moving to Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his start at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his first year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his experiences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the MIT Black Students' Union

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his transition from the South to Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his transition from the South to Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the black faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the influence of black astronauts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to study chemical engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his decision to study medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his dual graduate degree program

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his black peers and professors at Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his curriculum track at Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers Mae Jemison

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his Ph.D. degree program

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. reflects upon his decision to complete a dual degree graduate program

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his interest in orthopedic surgery

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his residency at the University of California, San Francisco

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the influence of Emily Morey Holton

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls applying to become an astronaut

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his work as a bone cancer surgeon

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his selection as an astronaut candidate

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his acceptance into the NASA Astronaut Corps

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to join the NASA Astronaut Corps

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the history of African American astronauts

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about Extravehicular Activity training

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about Extravehicular Activity training

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his family's perspective on his work as an astronaut

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his flight assignment

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers launch day on Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his crewmates on the Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the flight crew for Space Transport System 129 on Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes the process of acclimating to zero gravity

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about eating and sleeping in space

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes life on the International Space Station

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the mission schedule for Space Transport System 129

DASession

2$2

DATape

7$8

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 1
Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 2
Transcript
Now I imagine--and correct me if I'm wrong--but you had a, there was a general training that everybody got and then a training around your specialty as a mission specialty--specialist, right?$$Um-hm.$$Okay.$$Yeah, when you start it now, you go through basic training which can be a year and a half or so on average and that's just because you've got all these people from different walks of life and you basically want them to be able to work together and you need to understand what that means too, just to be an astronaut, because you have no clue outside of pretty much what you have seen on TV in a popular culture like everybody else, so yeah. You go through a year of basic, a year and a half of basic training. One of the most important aspects of that training is learning how to fly and the jet trainers and T-38s [Northrop T-38 Talon], and that's a tool that they use for what's called crew resource management. Basically, it's how you work together as a crew in a dynamic environment; you know, in this case a jet but that simulates in a lot of ways of being in a spaceship.$$Now, had you ever flown before?$$Just a little bit. I mean, I had taken private lessons when--towards the end of my residency and fellowship and I was working towards getting my private license, but I hadn't gotten it yet, so I had flown some.$$Okay.$$But never in a supersonic jet, you know, in terms of piloting it, so that was all new. The other thing was we do a lot of training as mission specialists during spacewalk training in this gigantic pool called the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and you go in spacesuits that have been made to be neutrally buoyant under water, so it simulates being in space, and, but you need to be scuba trained. You need to also train, do a lot of training specifically for being able to actually train in that facility, and so, that's part of your basic astronaut training, putting you through that whole process. For some of the water survival and land survival stuff, they sent us to different places. We went to Pensacola [Florida], to the naval flight training school [Naval Air Station Pensacola] there. There was some flight training there. We also went up to Maine to the Acadia national forest [Acadia National Park] to do some of our land survival training.$$This is in case it comes down place that it's not supposed to.$$Right, right. And then, we had training, like in geology; being able to explore landscapes, find important features. In a landscape that will tell you about the evolution of that particular environment. And so, we went out to New Mexico in order to do a lot of that training. Part of it, too, is the astronauts, of course, were the focal point for what NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] does in human exploration. So, whenever they bring in a new class, you need to learn about NASA as an organization. NASA has, I believe, don't quote me on this, if I remember I think it's fourteen centers nationwide, and you go around and visit every center so that the people, the personnel that are at each of these centers have an opportunity to meet you and you have an opportunity to meet them. The spacecraft and the spaceships that we fly on are assembled collectively by all of the centers. It's directed primarily in certain areas, but there are parts and contributions from all of the centers that are brought together and so it's important to go and meet the people that are doing that because you really are entrusting them with your lives when you're flying on a spaceship, and so it's closing that loop so that they have a face, you know. They know that this isn't just some theoretical exercise. It's, you know, these are people that are depending on them, so it establishes that bond and, you know, so it's--its, that's part of your basic training. That's you know, what you do. You continue it also, once you, you know, finish basic training.$And, when you get to the eight and a half minutes you're going, you're traveling at 17,500 miles an hour, which is, if you do the calculation, it's five miles per second, which is actually faster than a bullet, but you're in this gigantic spaceship travelling that fast and, you know, it's as I said, by the time you get to that eight minute mark and you know you're almost getting ready for the engines to stop, you're ready for the engines to stop (laughter) because you know it's really, and I was sitting there and I was having to think about every breath, you know. I was like, man, I gotta think about breathing because my muscles are actually starting to get a little bit tired from having to do this work. So, when the engines cut off and we were officially in space, it was very nice. They cut off and then everything starts exploding and that's kind of a magical moment, you know. It cuts off and I was just anticipating it and I was like, oh man, everything's gonna start floating now. This is gonna be spectacular. And it was. You know. I didn't have one of my gloves. I didn't have it strapped on me the right way, so when I took it off it started floating off, you know, and I'm getting out of the seat and, you know, when you're under your buckle and then all of a sudden you're just floating, you know, and just floating around, it's a spectacular feeling and the one thing that we all do right when it happens is, you know, you go to the window and stare out, just like a bunch of kids, you know, because you want to look out and just take in you know, seeing Earth. It's like you need to mentally verify. I am in space because, again, this is just kind of unique once in a lifetime for many, kind of things, and I just immediately started thinking I want to just remember as much of this as I possibly can. What competes with that, of course, is you have a very busy schedule that you have to adhere to and you have a lot of duties, so--$$Can you remember the first thing you saw when you looked out the window?$$Uh, well, I looked out and I saw the Earth and we were, I think we were over Europe at the time.$$Could you make it out?$$Oh yeah, yeah. I mean, it looks like, yeah, that's what's incredible. It looks just like the globe that you have on your desk, but in vivid colors; just incredibly spectacular, vivid colors. More vivid than you can imagine. It just kind of blows you away, and it just exceeds what you think it's gonna look like, 'cause I had, I was thinking it was gonna look this way but then you see it and just the colors are so brilliant. That hasn't had, the reason is when you're in space you're outside the atmosphere and you're in a vacuum of space and so you have this unfiltered light, and the colors, like I said, are just really spectacular and brilliant and you know there's something that's, in certain ways, very spiritual about how it looks and how it grabs you and affects you. So, at any rate. The other thing that really you notice when you look down on the earth you know, you can see, you actually can see the atmosphere when you look, you know, kind of on a tangent on the earth. Let's say that's the earth and you look right on the side, you actually see the atmosphere, this layer, you know, of gas, oxygen and nitrogen, whatever, adherent to the Earth.$$Does it look like a lot of protection for the Earth?$$Well, no. (Laughter) It looks like a thin, delicate layer. You know, and you realize that it's like this fluid, just like, you know, a gas is basically a fluid, just like water; water much more dense of course, but that's what it looks like. It looks like this fluid that's adherent to the Earth and you realize that's what we breathe and that's, you know, and what it really made me realize is that it's not an infinite entity. It's quantifiable. You can see that and you can see its layer. It's like, well there's only so much of that that's there, you know, and that really kind of brings home the point that it really is a delicate system that we have here and, you know, it's obviously it's coming into focus now with a lot of the global climate changes and everything that are going on, but you really gain a very visceral appreciation for it when you can actually see it like that.$$It becomes more real then--$$It becomes very real (simultaneous).$$--(Simultaneous) that human beings could actually destroy this.$$Right. Yeah, we could definitely do that.

Dr. James Hill

Orthopaedic surgeon and professor Dr. James A. Hill graduated from Lane Technical High School in 1967. He went on to receive his B.A. degree in biology from Northwestern University in 1971 and his M.D. degree from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 1974. After completing an internship at Evanston Hospital in 1975 and his residency training in orthopaedic surgery at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in 1979, Hill served a one-year fellowship in sports medicine with the National Athletic Institute of Health.

In 1980, Hill was recruited as an instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Between 1982 and 1994, he was promoted through the faculty ranks at the Feinberg School of Medicine. He was later appointed as a full professor of orthopaedic surgery in 1994. During his tenure at Northwestern University, Hill served on several university committees, including as a member of the Admissions Committee from 1982 to 1989; chair of the Motion Analysis Laboratory Implementation Committee from 1982 to 1984; co-director of the Center for Sports Medicine in 1982; and a member of the Minority Affairs Advisory Committee in 1989. Hill also served as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1985. He has provided medical care for both amateur and professional athletes and was the physician for the United States Olympic Team in Seoul, Korea in 1988. Later, Hill served as an attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, at Cook County Hospital, Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. During his tenure at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Hill served on the Nominating Committee; as chair of the Medical Executive Committee in 2006; and as the hospital’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2008.

Hill has made hundreds of professional presentations and published papers in more than fifty-five medical journals, including Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation and Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. He has received numerous awards, including being honored in 2006 by Health for Humanity for leadership in improving cultural competency within the medical profession and global health. Hill was inducted in the inaugural class of the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association Hall of Fame (2007). He also received the Icon Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club of Chicago (2008), and was honored by The Monarch Awards Foundation of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.’s Xi Nu Omega Chapter (2009).

Hill and his wife, Sandra Hill, have three children and one grandchild.

Dr. James A. Hill was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.236

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/19/2013

Last Name

Hill

Maker Category
Middle Name

Allen

Occupation
Schools

Lane Technical College Prep High School

Northwestern University

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HIL16

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Be Still And Know That I Am God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/14/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Catfish, Chicken

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Hill (1949 - ) served as a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and as the chief of staff for Northwestern Memorial Hospital from 2006 to 2008.

Employment

Evanston Hospital

McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern Medical Alumni Association

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Cook County Hospital

Jesse Brown V.A. Westside Medial Center

V.A. Lakeside Medical Center

Children's Memorial Hospital

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Provident Hospital

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:755,8:1400,14:1916,19:6515,55:7147,67:14810,199:20486,262:25328,305:25656,310:27870,350:28198,355:29018,368:30658,402:36398,552:36972,562:38120,578:39760,611:40744,624:41318,633:41646,638:42466,649:43040,657:43778,669:44352,676:55329,779:55961,790:56435,797:57146,808:58963,828:60701,852:61254,860:67557,965:69691,1020:82772,1155:83084,1160:86126,1216:86438,1221:89324,1273:90416,1295:91898,1328:92210,1333:92678,1340:100176,1495:105972,1588:111666,1687:112814,1704:116996,1782:124532,1893:125598,1911:126582,1924:126910,1929:131174,2042:134290,2080:137300,2099:140840,2146:146130,2225$520,0:1738,15:2086,20:3130,39:5920,148:6364,153:7474,166:7918,171:9858,189:10648,201:12149,220:12465,225:14310,238:14790,245:15510,256:21006,289:21746,304:23892,337:27518,419:27888,425:30922,475:34992,561:35732,574:40560,583:40852,588:42677,618:43042,624:43991,636:47495,773:47933,780:50415,822:50999,835:60486,901:63118,938:63776,946:64152,951:64904,964:66032,977:70534,1028:71030,1061:86248,1323:86544,1328:86840,1333:87432,1343:93201,1434:93565,1439:104670,1661:105085,1667:110201,1759:115556,1819:117596,1864:118004,1872:121744,1965:125812,1988:126104,1993:126907,2013:127345,2025:128148,2037:130192,2083:131579,2109:133623,2159:134426,2171:149096,2395:156578,2556:159244,2598:160190,2610:160706,2631:171992,2726:172732,2739:173398,2749:183971,2895:184772,2907:187063,2922:191323,3042:191962,3055:196822,3094:213770,3362:214470,3373:218040,3468:227630,3627:228890,3720:238255,3828:238930,3840:240730,3885:257691,4181:260526,4251:260850,4256:261174,4261:261741,4270:273385,4425:273760,4431:280960,4591:282160,4612:282460,4617:289608,4683:294768,4785:298036,4833:298638,4850:309422,4954:311858,4997:320150,5106:320525,5112:322025,5145:324950,5240:325700,5255:326075,5261:328775,5306:335840,5430:336302,5439:336698,5445:338155,5456:341550,5553
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. James Hill's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. James Hill lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. James Hill talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. James Hill describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. James Hill talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. James Hill talks about his paternal family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. James Hill recalls his paternal family lineage

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. James Hill describes the house his grandfather built on land he purchased in the 1930s in Bolton, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. James Hill recalls an early childhood memory and his decision to become a doctor

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. James Hill recalls his childhood visits to the South

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. James Hill describes his parents' migration to and marriage in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. James Hill lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. James Hill talks about growing up on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. James Hill describes the difference between the South Side and West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. James Hill talks briefly about his elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. James Hill talks about his childhood neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. James Hill recalls his childhood friends and reflects on white flight from Chicago, Illinois' West Side

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. James Hill recalls keeping a gang member's son out of trouble and receiving protection in return

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. James Hill recalls his elementary school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. James Hill talks about his difficulty learning to read phonetically

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. James Hill recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. James Hill recalls his childhood family traditions

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. James Hill talks about his religious upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. James Hill recalls a story about getting his brothers into trouble, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. James Hill recalls a story about getting his brothers into trouble, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. James Hill talks about the cancellation of his elementary school reunion

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. James Hill talks about testing for admission to Lane Technical College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. James Hill recalls his father's opposition to his marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. James Hill recalls his experience attending Lane Technical College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. James Hill describes his high school teachers at Lane Technical College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. James Hill talks about black physicians who inspired him in his adolescence

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. James Hill reflects on the Civil Rights Movement and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s effect on racial disparities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. James Hill talks about his attitude toward racism

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. James Hill reflects on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. James Hill recalls deciding to attend college despite the lack of counseling at Lane Technical College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. James Hill describes his acceptance to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and his experience in the biology department

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. James Hill describes his interest in science

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. James Hill describes meeting and marrying his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. James Hill talks about working at the post office and renting an apartment in Juneway Terrace in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. James Hill talks about avoiding the Vietnam War draft by enrolling in medical school

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. James Hill talks about challenges in medical school

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. James Hill describes his medical school classmates and handling discrimination in his classes

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. James Hill recalls taking his family to the anatomy lab during medical school

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. James Hill talks about the significance of taking organic chemistry before medical school

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. James Hill talks about finishing medical school and deciding against specializing in neurosurgery

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. James Hill describes his residency in orthopaedics

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. James Hill remembers being racially profiled and arrested by the police

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. James Hill talks about his medical residencies

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. James Hill talks about his interest in post-graduate training after completing his orthopaedics residency

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. James Hill talks about deciding to return to Chicago, Illinois to practice orthopaedics in 1980

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. James Hill describes returning to Chicago, Illinois to practice orthopaedics

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. James Hill describes his positions at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. James Hill explains his role on the Minority Affairs Advisory Committee at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. James Hill explains the origins and mission of the J. Robert Gladden Society

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. James Hill talks about his participation in the credentials committee and the oversight committee at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Feinberg School of Medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Dr. James Hill describes the Northwestern Health Care Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Dr. James Hill talks about his duties as attending physician in orthopaedic surgery and about papers he has published

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. James Hill lists the states in which he is licensed to practice medicine

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. James Hill recalls going to Ethiopia in the late 1980s

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. James Hill describes an article he wrote about healthcare in warzones while living in Ethiopia in the 1980s

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. James Hill talks about advancements in orthopaedic surgery

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. James Hill describes the racial disparity amongst patients who receive joint replacements

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. James Hill talks about how long knee replacement surgeries last

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. James Hill shares his personal philosophy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. James Hill talks about his wife and oldest daughter

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. James Hill talks about his mentor's family and his own family-planning

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Dr. James Hill talks about his children and lessons he learned from his family

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Dr. James Hill talks about HistoryMaker Dr. Augustus A. White and culturally competent care

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Dr. James Hill talks about HistoryMaker Dr. Carlton West

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Dr. James Hill talks about the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Dr. James Hill reflects upon his life and future plans

Tape: 7 Story: 15 - Dr. James Hill considers his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 16 - Dr. James Hill offers a message to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Dr. James Hill recalls an early childhood memory and his decision to become a doctor
Dr. James Hill talks about his interest in post-graduate training after completing his orthopaedics residency
Transcript
So, now let's talk about you at an early age. And, we just talked about one of your earliest childhood memories, about going south each year. But, do you have another childhood memory that you can think of? Your earliest childhood memory.$$Earliest childhood memory. Oh, I got a lot of 'em. But, one that still 'til this day is relevant, is the fact that here in Chicago [Illinois] they had a big fire around Christmas time at a Catholic school [Our Lady of the Angels School, December 1, 1958], there was really in a Polish neighborhood. As you know, the demographics of Chicago, Chicago is probably the historically been the most segregated housing city in the United States. So, they had a Catholic school that was in a predominately Polish area. And, I think, it was week or so before Christmas, they had a horrific fire where--and, we had shortly before then got the old black and white TV. And, you could--they started running it on the news and you could see the house--the thing burning down. And, you could see the kids jumping out of the window. You could see them bringing out bodies on TV and, I think, at that point I was eight or nine years old. And, I sat there and watched it on TV and I said right then that I wanted to be a physician. 'Cause they showed all these kids at a morgue and they showed Cook County Hospital [later, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois], 'cause at that time that's where they took a lot of 'em. And, I was so impacted by the visual picture of that that I internally, and externally, I think, I told my parents [Doretha Lowe Hill and James Hill, Sr.] then. And, they kinda thought I was just having a childhood moment like being a cowboy or a fireman kinda moment. But, I said, I was gonna be a physician. And, lo and behold as the twist and turns that life goes, I've been fortunate. I'm one of the few people that I can honestly say have lived their dream from being a little kid. So, that's one thing I remember is, 'cause that was impactful enough that even though I twist and turns of life and you don't really know where your roads gonna lend--end. Really my vision at that point of where it was gonna go to, actually came true.$Let's go on to what happens after your residency [at Cook County Hospital, later John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois].$$What happened, at that time, most people completed a residency and went into practice. I really felt, once again my idea of; one, trying to control my own destiny to--with what God let me control. 'Cause our God controls everything, but I wanna give him at least a few ideas that he (laughter) might wanna consider before he direct me in one way or another. So, I figured out that if I wanted to live up to my potential, I would be much better getting some, what you would consider an academia, some post-graduate training. And, in my group, Northwestern [University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois] had a fairly large residency. And, so, there were ten people in my year. And, I was the only one that elected to do a post-graduate training. Meaning, to spend time in another area where you--a concentrated area of orthopaedics, whether than just going into practice after a residency. So, that was an interesting story too. So, I went to the chairman, who was like I said from day one, you know, I was kind of his favorite. Actually, the other residents would even say it, even though they were all white, they said, "You the favorite. You can get away with anything, where he gives us a hard time." So, I went to the chairman, I said, you know, "I wanna do some extra training." And, then he looked at me. 'Cause he actually got a Ph.D. So, besides being an orthopaedic surgeon, he had actually spent time getting a Ph.D. So, to have a resident come to him that wanna actually do extra training, he was ecstatic. So, he said, "Well, what do you wanna do it in?" And, this was when sports medicine was just emerging, when people started doing knee sculpts and everything else. So, when my residency, everybody used to have the big incisions on the knee. And, so, we--they just had started, just had come from Japan where you can start doing microscopic surgery on knees. So, I said, you know, once again, me not liking sick people, "This guy taking care of athletes, during microscopic surgery, that's sounds like what I wanna do." So, I--he said, "Okay." Then the next thought is, "Then where do you wanna do it?" I said, of course, "The places that are the best." And, the place that are the best is, at California, the Kerlan-Jobe [Orthopaedic Clinic, Los Angeles, California], like the guy that operated on Tommy John's elbow, was one place. And, then the other place was Columbus, Georgia, the guy that operated on Archie [sic, Robert] Griffin, III. What's his name? But, anyway, Columbus, Georgia--Andrews, Jim [James] Andrews, were the two prominent places for sports medicine. So, of course, I said, "I wanna go there." It's interesting, the guy that was prominent--so he contacted them both, based on my desires.$$And, this Dr. who?$$Dr. [William J.] Kane.$$Kane. Okay.$$Dr. Kane, who was chairman. He contacted them both, 'cause like I said, it was unusual to do extra training. The guy down at the Hughston Clinic [Columbus, Georgia], I had met him at a meeting. And, he was the typically southerner was--you know, Columbus, Georgia is in the middle of nowhere, as you know. And, so, he was, you know, he was a typical southerner, next generation from plantation owners mentality. On the other hand, once again, and I've gone through life with this all the time, that after people get to know me then they don't--stop seeing color again. And, just like I don't see color. It's real interesting if you approach 'em that way so you don't see color to make your decision, they after a while forget that you're black (laughter). And, so, he even though he's a hardcore southerner, I had interact--'cause I had written papers as a resident. You know, I had done research and things in ra--so, he knew of me. And, so, the chairman at some meeting or something, he brought me to introduce me to 'em. Actually, I think it was in Atlanta [Georgia]. Where I was at a meeting in Atlanta, he was there, and he said, "Why don't you go ahead a meet Jack Hughston," which was a senior guy then. And, and, I have talked to him about you wanting to come down here and doing a residency. So, this is like '78 [1978]. And, so, I--he meets me, and say, "I have read some of the things you're written, I think you would be a great addition, but we're not ready to have someone black"--and he was, he was not saying it in a malignant way. He was truthfully honest. He said, "We're just not ready for a black to come down here examining patients. And, so, I want you to come, but I know we're not ready." And, so, I thanked him. And, he actually, to this day, he invited me back to lecture when I got done. I mean, but he was--I respect the fact that he was just blatantly honest and he didn't, he didn't sidestep the issue. So, then, I ended up of course, out in California. So, I ended up doing my extra training out there. They wanted me to stay. I actually, during my training, I got to go see Magic Johnson. I was, I actually went back with Kareem [Abdul Jabbar] 'cause he hurt his ankle. But, I got to see the [Los Angeles] Lakers win the World Championship. I was on the field at the, at Pasadena [California] when Lynn Swann made the catch in the Super Bowl [XIV, 1980]. I got to see the [Los Angeles] Dodgers work the World Series. I mean, they took care of all the teams in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. They wanted me to stay.

Dr. Carlton A. West

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carlton A. West was born on December 12, 1943, in Montezuma, Georgia. He grew up on a farm in the central part of Georgia. West earned his B.A. degree in biology in 1965. Dr. Mayes encouraged him to make the Deans list in order to receive scholarship money. West made the Deans list twice and scored high on the MCAT. The summer of his senior year in college, he was exposed to the medical world firsthand through his internship at Harlem Hospital in New York City. This exposure to medicine inspired him to pursue medicine. Without the intention to attend medical school, West was the first student in his class to be accepted into a medical university. He graduated from Meharry University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1965.

After graduating from medical school, West interned at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, for one year for a general surgery residency. He then took a year off to be the medical director of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams’ Health Center based at Providence Hospital on Chicago’s South Side. After a year hiatus from surgery, West began his residency at Yale University, completing it in 1975. That same year, he returned to Chicago to open a private practice in orthopedic surgery. In 1977, he became board certified and joined the staff at Michael Reese Hospital. West’s notable patients included the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, the late Eugene Sawyer, Evel Knievel, Muhammad Ali, Sammy Davis, Jr., and many others.

West served on the Board of the American Diabetes Association and Operation PUSH/Rainbow Coalition. In addition, he served as the President of the Chicago chapter of Meharry University and was a member of Sarasan fraternal order of physicians.

West enjoyed fishing and skiing, remained a resident of Chicago, and was a father and husband.

Dr. Carlton West passed away on March 11, 2016.

Accession Number

A2008.091

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/17/2008

Last Name

West

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Meharry Medical College

Morehouse College

Flint River Farms School

First Name

Carlton

Birth City, State, Country

Montezuma

HM ID

WES05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southwestern United States

Favorite Quote

Winners Make Things Happen. Losers Let Things Happen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/12/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hot Dogs

Death Date

3/11/2016

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carlton A. West (1943 - 2016 ) had a private practice for forty years, and he also worked at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. His patients included Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer, Evel Knievel, Muhammad Ali and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Employment

Michael Reese Hospital

Provident Hospital

Yale New Haven Hospital

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:1721,25:2433,35:6438,100:15840,190:17160,208:18260,244:18700,249:22880,283:23430,289:25080,304:37949,382:44953,470:45571,479:56901,612:67500,732:76950,847:77850,873:80550,908:81360,916:90700,1004:91500,1017:92400,1027:103200,1170:109380,1199:113027,1235:114355,1256:116762,1307:118339,1336:120082,1364:120497,1370:123153,1415:123568,1421:124730,1430:133790,1504:135330,1544:137150,1573:137640,1582:137920,1587:139950,1628:140300,1634:141070,1647:141980,1660:148594,1683:152550,1740:153654,1754:154114,1760:155402,1781:155954,1794:156598,1802:157702,1821:158070,1826:170040,1962:174014,1992:175340,2018:175730,2024:184622,2184:187586,2264:205835,2570:211230,2609:211980,2621:213480,2646:213780,2651:224922,2755:245156,2881:245511,2887:246390,2895$0,0:31010,352:32663,373:33098,379:33794,388:34403,399:35360,413:41015,488:50117,556:106502,1170:110114,1217:119980,1289:120745,1307:125250,1392:144430,1658:146385,1682:149615,1739:149955,1744:150805,1755:151315,1813:151655,1818:152420,1874:153015,1885:153525,1892:167466,2106:170172,2161:170910,2171:176090,2202:189145,2346:189620,2352:193135,2397:193610,2403:194845,2420:196840,2443:199500,2484:214352,2605:216410,2630:218860,2657:219252,2662:219644,2667:220036,2672:221212,2685:234001,2757:242416,2882:265460,3025:267665,3053:273755,3105:277320,3113
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Carlton A. West's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his mother's emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his parents' resourcefulness

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes the Flint River Farms in Macon County, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his family's house in Flint River Farms

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his early awareness of segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers the Flint River Farms School in Macon County, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers the teachers at the Flint River Farms School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers his early role models

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his activities at the New Hope Baptist Church in Montezuma, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his childhood friends and pastimes

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers D.F. Douglass High School in Montezuma, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his admission to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his experiences at Morehouse College, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls the SNCC demonstrations in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls the black business community in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls the SNCC demonstrations in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his experiences at Morehouse College, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his decision to attend Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his parents' support

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his medical internship at New York City's Harlem Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his early interest in orthopedic medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes the orthopedic issues in the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his medical residencies

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his orthopedic residency at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about the advancements in orthopedic medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls opening a private orthopedic practice

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his celebrity patients

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about treating professional athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his orthopedic practice

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes the misconceptions about African Americans' bone anatomy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about the syndromes of bone overuse and underuse

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about chiropractic care

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers treating Evel Knievel, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers treating Evel Knievel, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about bone fracture complications

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his recommendations for improving bone health

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his organizational activities

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West reflects upon his life and legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

10$10

DATitle
Dr. Carlton A. West describes his parents' resourcefulness
Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his medical residencies
Transcript
When you, I guess, think about the personalities of your parents, their talents, their gifts, their dispositions, who do you think you take after the most?$$Well, probably a little of both, some of both. My mother [Estella Fleming West] was a very industrious woman. And she was a great manager of the household. She--house stayed immaculately clean. She washed; she sewed; she made quilts; she canned vegetables during the summer, fruit, such as peaches during the summer. Later on when we got a freezer, she would freeze vegetables. And we never really were ever hungry or ever suffered or thought about food and same thing about clothing. And the truth of the matter is, even though we were dirt farmers, I didn't realize that we were considered poor by other people's standards until I was a grown man. I thought we were well off. My father [Rufus West] was a great manager of money. The money that we made from the farm [in Flint River Farms, Macon County, Georgia] he had a unique way of managing the household bills in his own way. And I really didn't understand it until I was a grown man. We used to do a lot of sharecropping, such as raising okra, raising cucumbers, and other things. And as we we'll take it to market, whenever you take any of that to market, they didn't pay you in cash. They paid him in a, a check, and so he would save those checks. And he had a little strong box. He would have his check marked--a bunch of checks marked September, another bunch of checks marked October, another bunch of checks marked December, all the way into the next year. And what it was, he wouldn't cash those checks until those months rolled around. And so that way he would make sure that he had money to pay for utilities and other things until we were able to have harvest from the crops the next year.$$Okay, well, so, he wasn't afraid that the account that the check was drawn on would dry up before he cashed it, or?$$Well, no, I guess not, I guess not. In a small community everybody knows each other, and you know the banker and everybody else. And so everybody pretty much knew what his habits were and what other people's habits were. And to my knowledge, he never had any problem cashing the checks, you know, as far as the checks getting stale.$$Okay, all right. It seems like a risk during Depression [Great Depression] days, but I, I don't know. But that's--$$Well--(laughter) I guess so.$$He--$$But--$$--he knew what he was doing apparently though, so.$$He knew what he was doing.$$Okay.$$But, and on the other hand, like I said, it didn't take a lot of money to maintain us because we raised pretty much everything that we needed on the farm. We raised vegetables; we had cows for milk; we had pigs; we had chickens; other times we'd go hunting and get wild game. And so, you know, everybody made it at that time on, on, on, on, on tight budgets.$Did you go to Yale right after graduation in '69 [1969] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) No, I didn't. After I finished Meharry [Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee], I did my internship here in Chicago [Illinois] at Michael Reese Hospital [Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center].$$Okay, all right.$$And I did one year of general surgery residency at Michael Reese Hospital because at that time you were required to do another year of post graduate training before you were allowed to do an orthopedic residency. And then after that, around that time, got married and started a family. And I took a year off and worked at the Daniel Hale Williams Health Center here in Chicago as a medical director. And--$$Now is that on the West Side [Chicago, Illinois], the, the Daniel--?$$No. It was based at Provident Hospital [Provident Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois] on 51st Street, directly behind--$$Okay.$$--the, the health center, a leased space there. And I did one year of working there and got a, a good financial base and the, the next year started my residency at Yale.$$Okay, so this is 1971 then?$$We are now at 1972--$$Okay.$$--is, is when I entered the residency at Yale New Haven Hospital [New Haven, Connecticut].$$Okay. All right, so, well, how was that? Now you go from Meharry to Yale. Did you have any trepidation about now I'm going to Yale, and this is supposed to be, you know, this top school, Harvard [Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts] and Yale are the top schools in the country, did you--$$Well, I was very grateful to have been admitted there and was very excited, you know, about going to a prestigious institution such as Yale. Just as I said earlier, all along the way from elementary school [Flint River Farms School, Macon County, Georgia], high school [D.F. Douglass High School, Montezuma, Georgia], college, I always knew that I was headed some place, and it was my goal--but never knew exactly where. I never--at the end of the four years at Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia], I wasn't sure where that was going to take me, but at the end of those four years, there was something that God presented to me. And that was--allowed me to get a good score on the MCAT and presented Meharry to me. Then at--as I went through Meharry, I had no idea where life would take me after Meharry. You know, for us who don't have families or family members who are already in the profession, we are really trailblazing and pioneering into an unknown territory. And so, at the end of my medical school years, I was able to get into Michael Reese. And this was the, at about the time that many institutions were beginning to integrate and were opening up their institutions to a select few blacks to come in. And, and I happened to be one of the fortunate ones that was able to get a good residency and good internship at, at, at Michael Reese. And the same, I think, with, with Yale, it was at a point where they wanted to broaden their, their program. At Yale I was the second black to go through the orthopedic residency program.

Dr. Augustus A. White, III

Prominent orthopedic surgeon Dr. Augustus A. White III was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of a doctor and a librarian. After attending segregated schools in Memphis, White graduated from the private Mount Herman School in Northfield, Massachusetts, in 1953. White completed his pre-medical studies at Brown University in 1957, and in 1961 was the first African American graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Receiving his Ph.D. degree in orthopedic biomechanics at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, White became the first African American surgical resident at the Yale-New Haven Hospital; he also served in Vietnam as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, earning a Bronze Star.

Specializing in care of the spine, White worked at Harvard Medical School as a professor of orthopedic surgery, and as the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Professor of Medical Education. For thirteen years, White served as chief of the orthopedic surgery department at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston; he also founded the academic orthopedic program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

A noted author in his medical specialty, White co-wrote (with Dr. Manohar M. Panjabi) Clinical Biomechanics of the Spine and Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System. White also wrote Your Aching Back: A Doctor’s Guide to Relief; Back Care; Advances in Spinal Fusion: Molecular Science, Biomechanics and Clinical Management; and Clinical Biometrics of the Spine, a standard reference book for orthopedists. In 2006, White was awarded the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Diversity Award for his life’s work, and his contributions to his field.

White met his wife, Anita, during his Ph.D. studies at the Karolinska Institute; the couple had three daughters.

Accession Number

A2005.107

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/21/2005

Last Name

White

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Northfield Mount Hermon School

Brown University

Manassas High School

Stanford University School of Medicine

First Name

Augustus

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

WHI07

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Ray Shepard

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sweden

Favorite Quote

Life Is As It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

6/4/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo (New Orleans)

Short Description

Medical professor and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Augustus A. White, III (1936 - ) was the first African American graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine. White taught at Harvard Medical School as a professor of orthopedic surgery, in addition to serving as the chief of the orthopedic surgery department at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and the founder of the academic orthopedic program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Employment

Beth Israel Medical Center

Harvard University Medical School

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2870,226:3430,236:4060,256:5040,273:6790,317:8050,349:12180,450:18510,494:23440,602:26670,653:27435,665:29135,691:32280,751:32790,758:39958,821:42548,873:42844,878:45582,953:49652,1026:55904,1067:57632,1104:60192,1172:61280,1205:61664,1212:62880,1248:63520,1257:65376,1312:65824,1320:72780,1411:73100,1416:73420,1421:79420,1575:80220,1589:81420,1610:81980,1618:93138,1728:93822,1739:94278,1746:95874,1787:97090,1807:97470,1813:101422,1891:103550,1939:104994,1996:105374,2002:106514,2018:121790,2246:122135,2278:126827,2376:128069,2399:129656,2429:130898,2455:132761,2506:137062,2538:138595,2565:141150,2647:144581,2716:144946,2722:145676,2733:147136,2758:160888,3003:164272,3089:165928,3121:171530,3191$0,0:1554,31:2210,40:2948,49:6638,121:16396,346:17462,362:25386,488:27726,532:31938,589:34122,634:37086,684:41040,693:41670,701:42510,710:42930,715:47550,780:50420,792:51740,818:52268,827:53060,841:55040,873:56030,894:56360,900:59066,954:59594,963:60122,972:63554,1035:64940,1067:67250,1122:68438,1144:69098,1155:69560,1165:70682,1188:79482,1255:80154,1266:80574,1272:85866,1347:89562,1408:90066,1415:95358,1520:96198,1532:102840,1580:103720,1593:116023,1777:116267,1782:120288,1852:123384,1930:124104,1988:129864,2079:148512,2366:150234,2411:155892,2546:158270,2591:168192,2841:181470,2990:182070,3000:183495,3032:187170,3116:190695,3222:191670,3243:192195,3253:202860,3360:203757,3378:207966,3486:211830,3612:213141,3648:219030,3752:223958,3865:230118,3993:237484,4040:239980,4077
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Augustus A. White III's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his professional activities

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Augustus A. White III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his mother, Vivian Dandridge White

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his father, Augustus White, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Augustus A. White III recalls his childhood aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his schooling in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes himself as a student at Memphis' Manassas High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his neighborhood growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers attending Mount Hermon School for Boys

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his experience at Mount Hermon School for Boys

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his jobs at Mount Hermon School for Boys

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his religious life as a young man

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Augustus A. White III reflects upon his time at Mount Hermon School for Boys

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his social life at Brown University, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his social life at Brown University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Augustus A. White III recalls a conflict with Delta Upsilon Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Augustus A. White III recalls being honored by Delta Upsilon Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers attending Stanford University School of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers deciding to become a surgeon

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Augustus A. White III recalls his internship at the University of Michigan Medical Center

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Augustus A. White III recalls his residency at Presbyterian Hospital in San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers his time at Yale New Haven Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers serving in Vietnam with the U.S. Army Medical Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers working in a leper colony, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers working in a leper colony, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers being awarded a bronze star from the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers researching with Carl Hirsch in Sweden

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers meeting his wife, Anita White

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers starting Yale University's orthopedic biomechanics laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers his appointment at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his book, 'Your Aching Back: A Doctor's Guide to Relief'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his books

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes healthcare disparities

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Augustus A. White III reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his future plans

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his daughters, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his daughters, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Augustus A. White III describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Augustus A. White III narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Dr. Augustus A. White III describes his jobs at Mount Hermon School for Boys
Dr. Augustus A. White III remembers being awarded a bronze star from the U.S. military
Transcript
What was your work assignment [at Mount Hermon School for Boys; Northfield Mount Hermon, Gill, Massachusetts]? You said everybody--$$Yeah, yeah.$$--worked.$$Yeah.$$What did you do?$$Interesting. And, and the, the good thing about the work, too, is like, like the outside world, if you did a good job and you worked hard, you, you kind of got--you know, you moved--you get--you got the better jobs. Everybody had to work to get the better job. My first job was cleaning toilets; that was my first job. And that was--you know, wasn't the best job. Wasn't the best job. And I had a racial incident around that as a matter of fact. And, but anyway, that was my first job. And I--what I wanted to do, I learned--I mean as, as I saw the jobs and I looked around, was to be a waiter, and there were several reasons for that. One is I knew I could satisfy my appetite in that position 'cause I was in and out of the kitchen the whole time. The other thing is I--part of the culture in the South that I grew up in, waiters, that was a very respected--I mean the--a respected job and you, you earned as much money as anybody else in the community basically if you were a professional waiter, if you were really good and you worked in--so it had a sense of sophistication, and I had learned some of that, again, sitting around listening to the adults. And, and the other way--the other thing was you had a lot more free time because you had to be at the dining room to eat anyway, so if you're waiting tables, you're, you're paying your dues and so, so anyway, I aspired to that and, and while I had a lot of trouble with my supervisor in the toilet cleaning job, I was--managed to be a substitute waiter and, and learn my way around the dining room, so ended up getting to be a waiter after the--after my first year. And then I moved on up and I got to be a faculty waiter, which is, you know, the elite waiters, and you--it--it's very nice. And, and, and, and again, I was bringing all this basic professionalism from my southern heritage and they thought--you know, they thought it was the greatest thing in the world, you know? Faculty members wanted to sit at my table, you know, and--because it, it was fun for me to do. And actually, that even--being a waiter--I, I worked as a carhop in the summers too, but I think being a waiter has helped me as a caregiver, a service provider, as a physician, you know? I mean, some of that stuff spills over and, and, you know, I'm, I'm comfortable with that, I enjoy it. So, and then even they had head waiters also, and head waiters, all you had to do is you put on a nice white coat and you just walk--the dining room was a very long dining room, about two or three basketball courts in length and the tables were all--and you just kind of walked back and forth and supervise and observe things. I was not a head waiter but I got invited to be a substitute frequently when the head waiters weren't there, so I would--they would ask me and I'd do that. So--but that was a good evolutionary process, you know? If, if, if you do the right thing and do it well, you know, you can--you can move up, whatever your color is, you know? So--$You were--finished your [U.S.] military service, what year? When were you discharged?$$I finished--well, I had finished that year, then I came back--that would've been '67 [1967] in Vietnam and then I did a year in, in Monterey, California [Monterey County, California], Fort Ord Army Hospital, and so I was there until '68 [1968].$$Okay.$$So I finished my two years with Uncle Sam in 1968.$$You received a Bronze Star [Bronze Star Medal]--$$I did, yes.$$--for--$$Well, I think it was a combination of my work in the leper colony, which interestingly, the military viewed it--I mean, not just in this way. I mean, obviously, from a humanitarian point of view, but, but the official military take on that was that this was a counter insurgency. In other words, the good will of what, in my military uniform and with military equipment and personnel what we were doing to help these patients, which indeed we were doing, was good will. And part of the military strategy when you're fighting an insurgency is to not just shoot at the people, but, but try to get the population to think you're a good guy and you're doing some good. So in the context of that, the humanitarian part, but really, frankly, more important the counter insurgency part of it, that was a major contribution as the military saw it. The other part of that is, the other part of my I guess the, the Bronze Star, was I, I went--they called into the hospital one day and they said, "We have a trooper up on the mountainside out here and that was outside the compound, outside the secure area, and he needs some medical support to get him down off the mountainside. He needs to be evaluated and prepared in a way that we can get him down, and, you know, we want some volunteers to do it, and preferably we'd like you to be a doctor." So I guess I was in a good mood or feeling strong or stupid or whatever, but I thought, okay, I think I can--I, I can do that. And I knew something--being an orthopedist, I knew something about how to splint people, you know, and, and, and they thought it was either a dislocated hip or fractured hip. And so I said, okay, you know. So I, I, I--the troopers got me and the, the--they got the radio contact or whatever, put me in a Jeep and took me out, you know, to the bottom of the mountain and said, "Okay, Doc, go that way." So I, I ran over to the first guy, you know, and he said, okay, Doc, come on. And he ran up the mountainside and I'm running behind him, and he went up, I don't know how far, let's say seventy-five or a hundred yards, and there was another trooper there, and this trooper stopped and said, "Okay, come on, Doc" (laughter). So I was like a baton (laughter).$$Like a relay race.$$Yeah, right. So there were about three or four of these guys. Finally, I got up to where the person was and, and was able to help to splint him and, and, and they did have a stretcher they--there. And, and it--you know, I--this brings up a--an aside. But the real heroes in Vietnam were the nurses and the helicopter pilots, and they were phenomenal. Anyway, the, the guy had to bring the helicopter in on the side of the mountain. He couldn't land it, but he had to bring it in. The mountain comes down this way, here I am with the splinted, got the guy settled down and splinted, and ready to be evacuated off the mountain. The helicopter had to come in, it couldn't land because of the slope, so it just had to hover. And then what we had to do was to take the guy (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Lift him.$$--and put him up into the helicopter. So we, we were able to do all that, but as, as the helicopter was hovering, I looked over the side of the mountain, and I could see the blade was about only a foot and a half from the side of the mountain, you know? And this is how good these guys were. I mean, he, he, he came in there and did that, we got the fellow on, and it was--it was a successful evacuation and so forth. So that was part of, of, of that volunteer effort that, that was--that was recognized, and that's what that was.

Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross

Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross was born on November 26, 1937, in Detroit, Michigan. After receiving his high school diploma from Detroit’s Cass Tech High School in 1955, Ross attended the University of Michigan from 1956 to 1958, and Wayne State University from 1958 to 1960; he earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1964.

After medical school, Ross joined the Navy’s Medical Corps as an intern in 1964, and then worked as a doctor in the U.S. Navy from 1969 through 1973. Becoming a qualified submarine medical officer in 1966, Ross became the first African American submarine doctor in U.S. Navy history. Ross served aboard the U.S.S. George C. Marshall from 1968 to 1969, where he was the first African American officer to receive a Golden Dolphin Award from the U.S. Navy.

After leaving the Navy and moving to Oakland, California, Ross joined the West Oak Health Center as a consultant orthopedic surgeon and teacher; he later became the chief of orthopedics at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley, California.

A member of the Arlington Medical Group, Ross is also a member of the National Medical Association; The American Medical Association; the NAACP; and Alpha Phi Alpha. Ross and his wife, Etna, have raised four children.

Mr. Ross passed away on January 14, 2007.

Accession Number

A2005.089

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/31/2005

Last Name

Ross

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Alexander Jackson

Schools

Cass Technical High School

Sampson Elementary School

Wayne State University

University of Michigan

Meharry Medical College

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

ROS02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern Spain

Favorite Quote

Let's Roll.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/26/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chops, Rice

Death Date

1/14/2007

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon and physician Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross (1937 - 2007 ) was the first African American submarine doctor in U.S. Navy history and the first African American officer to receive a Golden Dolphin Award from the U.S. Navy. He is chief of orthopedics at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley, California.

Employment

US Naval Yard

West Oak Health Center

Herrick Hospital

Favorite Color

Green Olive

Timing Pairs
0,0:11379,127:12016,135:22310,315:36312,418:42620,555:43228,564:46995,584:60114,734:61554,768:65082,875:68178,946:70770,1013:81954,1167:88550,1282:90260,1313:90925,1321:91495,1328:92065,1335:110966,1619:121704,1722:130112,1852:133190,1914:156200,2224$0,0:11620,260:12201,268:12782,275:14027,286:15272,321:15770,328:32940,555:33660,565:42380,767:50540,919:59178,986:59508,992:61422,1037:71180,1163:83574,1275:84402,1285:91293,1360:91657,1365:96298,1471:96844,1478:97390,1487:108401,1640:114639,1794:115221,1802:116094,1823:121840,1907:126305,1998:126875,2005:131010,2058:134661,2087:145572,2347:145876,2352:146712,2367:158820,2487:161130,2503:161620,2511:161900,2516:162180,2521:162530,2527:168978,2634:171304,2645:171572,2650:181140,2841:182715,2863:187986,2907:190860,2919:192516,2973:192861,2979:193551,2993:201072,3112:205833,3187:206247,3302:218486,3472:222981,3523:244318,3968:254454,4141:256100,4187
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his mother, Julia Josephine Jackson

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his father, Turner William Ross

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his family lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his sister, Lula Ross

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his neighborhood as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes the smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his time at William T. Sampson Elementary School

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes Cass Technical High School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his sixth grade teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his activities as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his college experience

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers being a social worker in college

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his time at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers attending the March on Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross explains how he became the first black officer on a submarine in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross speaks about being one of the only black officers in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers working at the Newport News Shipyard in Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross recalls a dangerous incident during submarine training

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross speaks about his conflicting duties on board the U.S.S. George C. Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his first time rigging the submarine for dive

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his interactions with Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross recalls his leisure activities on board the U.S.S. George C. Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his extra duties on board the U.S.S. George C. Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers receiving the Golden Dolphin Award

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross talks about his exciting life as a U.S. Navy doctor

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross explains joining the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross recalls being featured in Ebony as a black pioneer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers his career path after his patrol in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers working at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his practice in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross reflects on the increase in black orthopedic surgeons

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his children

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his relationship with his wife, Etna Ross

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers being introduced to jazz music by his cousin, musician Tommy Flanagan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers sharing his father's love of poetry and oration

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross talks about cooking as his hobby

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross recalls his fishing trip to the Amazon

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross explains the importance of family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes the biggest medical concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross elaborates on his core values

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

9$4

DATitle
Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers working at the Newport News Shipyard in Virginia
Dr. William Alexander Jackson Ross remembers being a social worker in college
Transcript
By the time I got to the subs [submarines] now--I mean sub school, not, not really much there. Then I got sent--my sub was in Newport News, Virginia. Now things are a little different there, not the [U.S.] Navy per se, but the shipyard was under one of those--you know consent decrees you know to integrate. The shipyard had not, they, they hadn't done too well. They were, they had--they hadn't really hired many blacks in the shipyard and all. So what they usually do is the doctors who came down on the subs they would usually hire them to do the physical exams, and they did that all the time except when I got there. They didn't hire me, so later on eventually somebody said, okay yeah you can work. I mean it's like they sent some tech to tell me I could work.$$So what did you do if you couldn't do the physical exams?$$Oh no, I mean see that was just outside, that was just outside work. You see in other words it wasn't the Navy work.$$Oh okay.$$Where they would just hire the doctors for in the Navy to do, do exams see, and that was just extra pay. So it was just like gravy for the doctors who were there on the subs, so I said so they didn't do that to me. So now what happened was though--so I finally got hired and so one of the reasons they and one of the ways they were getting away or getting around hiring blacks was you had a card, you had-your card for application for employment and on the front of the application for employment, in pencil was either C or W for colored or white, and so that way they'd know who you were so they could hire whoever they wanted and then they could erase that off, see so then it could look like, "Well we just, you know we hired this and that," but on that application card, when the back was the physical exam. So I had all the cards and so what I did was on the physical exam all the people who were Cs, I made them Ws and I took a corresponding number of Ws and made them Cs. So they tell me in the 1967 Newport News Shipyard [Newport News, Virginia] hired more blacks than they ever had in the history of their shipyard, but anyway, but so that was, but that was kinda interesting you know, and then I did--you know, I did exams like everybody else did.$I was gonna say so that wasn't--I was kinda use to doing that, working and going to school so that wasn't really too much.$$And you took science classes in college?$$Oh yeah, right, I was a pre-med, pre-med major, taking all the biology and chemistry, anatomy classes that I needed for that. I had a job at the--I was a social worker, ADC, Aid to Dependent Children, that's what I did in Detroit [Michigan] until I went to med school [at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee]. I got that job, actually they were desperate. In there, there are different areas in Detroit obviously like all cities, and there's one area in Detroit which was bound by streets called Hastings [Street], St. Antoine [Street], Rivard [Street], and Riopelle [Street] and at that time in the '50s [1950s] those were some--that was a bad neighborhood, really bad. It was deemed as one of the worse areas in the city for everything, crime, et cetera and apparently they'd had various ADC workers--in those days the ADC, the workers had to go into the houses and that sort of thing and walk the streets and--they had had apparently a white male there and he had been threatened with his life so he had to leave there. They had a white female and I think they threatened her also, a lot of different ways apparently. They had a black female who had a nervous breakdown. So what they hadn't had was a black male. Now there were some rules and regulations and requirements for being a social worker. Number one, they wanted you to be twenty-one, number two they wanted you to have a car, number three they wanted you to at least be interested in social work. Okay, I wasn't twenty-one, didn't have a car, wasn't really interested in social work--I got the job. Took the test boom, got the job. I did not know at that time (laughter) that the reason why I got the job I didn't know where I was gonna be assigned. So, when they told me what my area was I said, ooh. I mean I've been living in Detroit almost twenty years I'd never even been in these areas. So what I decided was this, I said the area, the grapevine will know who I am, and they will decide whether they're gonna let me survive or not. So my first move for a week or so was just to walk through the area. See, I didn't even have a car so I'm getting off the bus in this tough area. So I just walked through area, every day I just walked through, walked through the whole area, didn't carry anything, didn't have anything, just walking through knowing that they would know who I was, and then, then after about a couple of weeks I took my briefcase, started going to see the folks, and what happened was is they had decided that they would let me slide, they didn't bother me. So I stayed there and I worked and then until I got ready to go to med school. So they didn't--it was nice, I learned a lot that was--that was probably one of the most educational jobs that I've ever had in my life. I mean I learned about people, where people, I learned people--I mean, everybody who's a prostitute doesn't necessarily have a bad heart. People want good things for their children even though they're not doing good things or and that sort of thing. So I mean I just I really learned a lot 'cause I never, I never had any personal contact with anybody like that, with people like that. So it was, it was, it was an experience, it was a great experience, and then when I left actually--and then I guess I became a social worker then. I'm taking blankets outta the house and stuff, I go get an old heater. My mother [Julia Jackson Ross] was saying, "Where you going with that?" I said, "Mom, we got more stuff here than the law allows," you know, and then she use to give stuff away and everything so you know I mean, I'm just, I'm just following what you use to do all the time. So anyway, so I would take stuff around and if people didn't have shoes you know, and I'm taking stuff and, and so when I left they gave me a little party, kinda the block folks did. So it was nice, I mean that was kinda like my reward, but, it was very enjoyable. I learned a lot, I learned a lot about people. I learned how to get along too.

Dr. Marvin Shelton

In a family of medical doctors, Dr. Marvin L. Shelton has helped patients walk pain-free for more than thirty years. Born in Pittsburgh on July 25, 1931, Shelton has made a reputation for himself with his many discoveries and advances in his work as an orthopedic surgeon in treating ankle fractures.

Educated at Howard University, Shelton received his B.A. in 1951, an M.A. in chemistry the following year, and his M.D. in 1956. After completing his internship, he did his residency in Honolulu, Hawaii. Shelton then served as chief of the Orthopedic Section at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, until 1964. From 1966 to 1994, Shelton headed the Residency Training Program at Harlem Hospital Center in New York. While at Harlem Hospital, Shelton saw a large number of unstable ankle fractures, leading him to further investigate the causes of such injuries. In 1967, he pioneered a new surgical technique that dramatically improved the prognosis for patients with this type of ankle injury. Shelton also helped to engineer a contoured plate system for fractures. This plate gained increasingly wide usage in the orthopedic field.

His discoveries and advances have made Shelton a highly sought-after speaker. Shelton has delivered more than two dozen lectures around the world; presented numerous papers and exhibits; and held visiting professorships at Yale University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Oregon. He also served as chairman of the Orthopedic Section of the National Medical Association and has been an active member and leader in many other professional associations and boards. In 1992, Shelton brought his trailblazing techniques to Presbyterian Hospital in New York, where he worked as an attending surgeon. Shelton and his wife, Arden Buckner, had four children.

Marvin Shelton passed away on July 07, 2004.

Accession Number

A2003.190

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/14/2003

Last Name

Shelton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

Peabody Elementary School

Williston Middle School of Math, Science & Technology

Howard University College of Medicine

First Name

Marvin

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

SHE02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/25/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi

Death Date

7/7/2004

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Marvin Shelton (1931 - 2004 ) developed new technique for treating unstable ankle fractures.

Employment

Fort Jackson

Harlem Hospital

Yale University

University of Minnesota

University of Oregon

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1812,21:5024,120:6630,156:7433,217:8820,242:11621,255:11969,260:12404,266:12752,271:13100,276:24302,403:32410,462:36575,542:38785,598:42780,670:43630,685:49402,728:55618,823:55954,828:56374,834:56710,839:57802,853:59734,891:67658,960:67954,965:71600,988:73150,1024:73708,1039:77848,1075:78904,1103:84461,1139:85237,1148:91065,1199:91500,1205:93066,1230:97172,1255:99524,1303:100084,1309:105590,1334:108786,1393:118060,1442:123479,1506:127192,1566:127520,1571:137790,1656:146642,1731:147512,1746:153984,1864:159547,1953:160081,1960:163018,2012:166813,2061:167228,2067:168840,2081:173880,2111:174840,2126:178120,2196:189534,2320:190242,2327:192010,2334:192698,2343:195680,2352:196360,2361:198145,2396:219020,2606:219520,2611:223488,2634:227408,2673:228002,2680:232440,2715:234004,2751:239536,2807:253164,2983:254560,2991$0,0:3144,51:3536,56:4222,66:4908,74:17563,240:18590,258:19222,267:23690,293:24082,298:25650,324:26434,333:26826,338:27414,345:28198,355:39225,514:40460,531:41600,546:42075,553:45020,593:45495,599:48630,647:62832,875:71548,953:73384,973:87992,1132:90225,1174:97339,1236:98288,1252:103165,1272:104780,1296:105630,1308:109700,1367:111230,1408:111590,1413:113570,1448:117740,1470:118880,1482:123326,1546:124124,1555:125418,1582:126287,1595:126998,1605:127393,1611:127709,1616:128499,1626:128815,1631:133878,1701:137230,1725:137670,1731:138550,1742:148506,1889:149468,1904:149764,1909:150874,1927:151244,1933:155343,1967:162620,2032:163020,2037:163520,2043:165120,2063:165720,2070:166820,2091:178830,2214:182315,2242:182599,2247:187626,2301:195389,2375:201702,2452:202170,2459:203340,2474:203730,2480:211140,2595
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Marvin Shelton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Marvin Shelton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about how his parent met and what subjects they each taught in school

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes his maternal and paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes his earliest childhood memory in Wilmington, North Carolina and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Marvin Shelton remembers his family life and where they lived in Wilmington, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Marvin Shelton recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Wilmington, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about the African American community in Wilmington, North Carolina and being the youngest child in his family

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about attending Peabody Elementary School and Williston Industrial High School in Wilmington, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes what he was like as a student

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his personality as a young man and what was expected of him in school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes preparing to go to college at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about going to Howard University with HistoryMakers, the Honorable Andrew Young and the Honorable David N. Dinkins

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about the World War II veterans returning to Howard University and his roommate, HistoryMaker Andrew Young

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his professors at Howard University in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his professors at Howard University in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes joining ROTC as a senior at Howard University and how being in the U.S. Army helped pay for medical school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Marvin Shelton recalls his classmates and the learning environment at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Marvin Shelton reflects upon his academic success as a high school and his privilege

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his medical internship and applying for a neurosurgery residency, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his orthopedic surgery residency in Hawaii

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Marvin Shelton explains the sequence of events leading up to getting his M.D. degree in 195

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his professors in medical school at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Marvin Shelton Dr. William Montague Cobb, one of his professor at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about the limited medical school options African Americans had during the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his medical internship and applying for a neurosurgery residency, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes the advantages he received in his medical career as a result being in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Marvin Shelton recalls his time in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Marvin Shelton explains how he was recruited to be the head of the orthopedics residency program at Harlem Hospital in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes the issues with Columbia University's in New York, New York affiliation with Harlem Hospital Center, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes the steps he took to get his independent residency program at Harlem Hospital Center in New York, New York approved

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes the issues with Columbia University's in New York, New York affiliation with Harlem Hospital Center, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about the other doctors at Harlem Hospital Center in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about the end of his independent orthopedic residency program at Harlem Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about the other residency programs that were available in orthopedics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes how Harlem Hospital Center in New York, New York and residency programs have changed since the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes some of the medical devices he invented for use in orthopedic surgeries

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes the process of getting a medical device approved for use

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his work on trimalleolar ankle fractures

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his visiting professorships

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes how the orthopedic field has changed over his forty-seven year career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Marvin Shelton explains why orthopedics is the most exciting field in medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his involvement in professional organizations and the history of the National Medical Association

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about HistoryMaker Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his and his children's success

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes the importance of African American doctors

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes what it means to be a good doctor

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about the challenges of finding good care for African Americans

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Marvin Shelton describes his hopes for his future

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Marvin Shelton reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about going to Howard University with HistoryMakers, the Honorable Andrew Young and the Honorable David N. Dinkins
Dr. Marvin Shelton talks about his orthopedic surgery residency in Hawaii
Transcript
And, and so when you left and you're going to Howard [University, Washington, D.C.], you're going to, not to unfamiliar territory--$$Right.$$--because your brothers [Lee Raymond Shelton and Thomas Gerard Shelton] are there.$$And a lot of the students who were there with them remembered me and there are people now who were there that were in my older brother's class who like adopted me as the, as the mascot so to speak and you know, helped and made sure that everything I needed to know and do, they would get me through.$$So, but in many ways Howard, whether you know, you knew it through your brothers is opening up a world?$$Um-hmm.$$It's fun. You know, it's not small like the environment you've been in, in Wilmington, right?$$Right.$$Okay, and so are--you declare pre-med immediately?$$Yes.$$Okay, and so can you talk about your experience in Howard and you know, some of the, you know the teachers and some of the other you know, people who were in your class?$$Well it was an exciting experience because for the first time I'm meeting and interacting with people from literally all over the world. There was a large number of students from the Caribbean and from Africa as well as many other countries and all of the states in the union. My freshman roommate was [HM the Honorable] Andrew Young from Atlanta [Georgia]. Classmates like [HM the Honorable] David [N.] Dinkins were there. And we lived in the dorm and did all the things that boys do in the dorm. The teachers were interesting because there were so many students that they literally had more students than they had classrooms or seats. So they--the mood of the faculty was to consider students as pretty dispensable so that if they set an exam and 30 percent of the students didn't pass it they would just flunk them. And it used to be a standard and indoctrination when you go in a class they would tell you to look to the left and to the right because at the end of the second semester, half of you know, one of them wouldn't be there. And so it was a big joke when they would punch people out of college, say you'll, you look around and the bags would be--folks would be coming out of the dormitory you know in March at the end of the second semester. It's sort of a joke. You know, you didn't get to see the grass grow green. So I really wasn't thrilled with the teaching approach and attitude at Howard at that time on the part of most of the faculty. I thought they were rather indifferent. Very little tutoring went on or counseling about you know, what the children ought to be doing because there were just so many students and so little organization. But there were a lot of bright children, a lot of bright students there who you know could master any system (laughter) and that, that basically was what--is what was happening at Howard at that time. They just had this tremendous number of bright students from all over the country and most of us you know, could find a way to get through.$But in the meantime I had no job for you know, for that year so I started working in orthopedics as a duty officer because while I was interning I had an opportunity to scrub on an orthopedic case. I thought I was very interesting to deal with the kinds of injuries that this fella had. And they also found out that I had probably some talent because I recall a surgeon who was in charge of the case who happened to be a lieutenant colonel and he was trying to figure out how to apply a plate to a bone that was broken and place some screws in such a fashion that the ends of the bone could slide together rather than be held apart. And he was consistently trying to put the screw at the wrong end of the slot (laughter) and I was, you know, finally able to convince that you if this is going to work the way the author has designed it then we had to put the screw at the other end. So I figured that maybe orthopedics would be a field that I could enjoy and have some success in. So when they offered me a residency in orthopedics I decided that I was just going to forego that foray into neurosurgery and I stayed on at that same hospital for another four years as a resident in orthopedics. It also allowed me to--they gave me credit for that year in between the internship and when the program was approved toward my residency. I worked--see, if I had not done that then I--that would have been a lost year and I would have had to start again in neurosurgery without the benefit of that year. Whereas going into orthopedics, I didn't lose any time and you know ended up finishing my residency after five years and five years out of medical school. And all that happened in Hawaii. I got married the--a few days after graduating from Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] and traveled to Hawaii with my new wife [Arden Buckner]. And while there we found that the weather and everything was just perfect so we had three children and enjoyed you know the beauty and the environment of Hawaii which was multi-racial, not many black people but a lot of people from the islands and Japan and Saipan. The hospital was a general hospital that served the entire Far East so we actually took care of all the casualties, the--everywhere from Japan down through the Philippines and then on to the Vietnam area. And it afforded me just a tremendous opportunity to become expert in the management of injuries of all sorts and taking care of all the things that happen to young people either in the course of [U.S.] military life or the activities that they participate in, you know, off duty.

Dr. Charles H. Epps, Jr.

Medical pioneer and educator Dr. Charles Harry Epps, Jr., was born on July 24, 1930, in Baltimore, Maryland. Epps attended Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School; during his senior year, he was class president and valedictorian. While still in high school, Epps was also selected to be a delegate of the Maryland State Boys Senate, where he introduced legislation calling for the elimination of segregation of the state’s public transportation, which the State Boys Senate passed.

Epps graduated from high school in 1947 and enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Epps graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1947 from Howard, and received his M.D. degree with honors in 1955. After medical school, Epps completed his internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at Freedmen’s (now Howard University) Hospital, in Washington, D.C. Following the completion of his residency, Epps served as a captain in the United States Army Medical Corps.

After his honorable discharge from the Army in 1962, Epps returned to Howard University to become a member of the College of Medicine faculty, and began a successful private practice.

At the age of thirty-three, Epps was appointed chief of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at Howard. During his tenure as chief and professor, Epps trained more African American men and women in orthopedic surgery than anyone in the world. Epps also served Howard in various other capacities, including dean of the College of Medicine; vice president for health affairs; acting CEO of Howard Hospital; and special assistant to the president for health affairs.

Epps retired from Howard University in 2001. Throughout the course of his career, Epps contributed more than seventy publications and thirty book chapters, in addition to giving numerous lectures and scientific presentations. Epps also served in a variety of professional organizations, including the American Orthopedic Association, where he was its first African American member, and later its president. Epps and his wife, renowned doctor Roselyn Payne Epps, raised four children.

Accession Number

A2003.049

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/17/2003

Last Name

Epps

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

H.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

DaCorsi School

Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts

Frederick Douglass High School

Howard University College of Medicine

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

EPP02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/24/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Spaghetti, Meatballs

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Charles H. Epps, Jr. (1930 - ) was chief of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at Howard University. During his tenure as chief and professor, Epps trained more African American men and women in orthopedic surgery than anyone in the world.

Employment

Freedmen's Hospital, Howard University

United States Army Reserve

United States Army

Howard University Hospital

Howard University

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Epps interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Epps lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Epps remembers his mother and father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Epps shares his earliest memory

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Epps recalls his relationships with his sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Epps describes his childhood community and school

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Epps recounts his first encounter with discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Epps remembers his early school years with his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Epps recalls racial discrimination in horse racing at Pimlico

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Epps describes his childhood personality and high school jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Epps remembers his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Epps recalls racial discrimination in employment and his own career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Epps recounts his career choice and supporting himself through college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Epps talks about the deaths of his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Epps discusses his participation in Model Senate

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Epps recounts his experiences with tuberculosis

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Epps recalls how he supported himself through college and medical school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Epps remembers his favorite teachers from elementary through high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Epps remembers his favorite professors in undergraduate courses at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Epps recalls Howard College of Medicine professors he admired

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Epps remembers working for E. Franklin Frazier

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Epps recounts his courtship and marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Epps outlines the history of Howard's orthopedics program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Epps explains his decision to specialize in orthopedic surgery

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Epps recalls his studies in orthopedic surgery

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Epps remembers Dr. Burke Syphax and Dr. Montague Cobb

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Epps discusses racial discrimination in the medical field

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Epps recounts his stint in the Army

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Epps recalls becoming chief of orthopedic surgery at Freedmen's and D.C. General Hospitals

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Epps discusses balancing educational and hospital work with private practice

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Epps talks about his involvement in professional organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Epps explains the process of board certification and Academy membership

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Epps describes the issues discussed and work done by medical associations

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Epps describes his relations with white colleagues and patients

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Epps reflects on his teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Epps discusses prosthetics developments

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Epps reflects on developments in medical technology over his career

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Epps details developments in hospital administration over his career

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Epps discusses challenges facing the medical field in 2003

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Epps reflects on his work as Dean of Howard's medical school

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Epps explains his challenges as Vice President of Health Affairs at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Epps shares his thoughts on African American medical colleges

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Epps discusses his current activities and the endowed chair in his name at Howard

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Epps describes raising his four children

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Epps reflects on his determination and frugality

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Epps discusses his courtship and marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Epps considers his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Photo - Charles Epps, not dated

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Photo - Charles Epps's taxi identification badge, 1951

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Photo - Charles Epps with his wife, Roslyn, from a District of Columbia Medical Society publication, ca. 1992