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Dr. Rogsbert Phillips

Breast cancer specialist Dr. Rogsbert Frenzel Phillips was born on July 12, 1948, in Newnan, Georgia, to Olivia Louise Bohannon Mitchell and Zack Phillips. Phillips attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 1970. She also attended and graduated from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons with her M.D. degree. In 1982, Phillips became the first African American woman to complete the general surgery program at Emory University.

Phillips started her general surgery practice in Atlanta, Georgia, and decided to specialize in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. She is one of the top breast cancer specialists in the United States. In 1989, Phillips founded Sisters By Choice, a support group providing educational, emotional, spiritual, and physical resources to breast cancer survivors, their families, and other health care professionals. The organization strives to be a leading provider of innovative programs and efforts that increase breast cancer education and awareness. The organization provides support and counsel to individuals diagnosed with breast cancer and their families. Phillips also started an annual Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend in Atlanta.

In 2000, Phillips participated in conducting experimental surgical procedures to detect and prevent breast cancer called ductal lavage. The procedure entails inserting a small scope into the breast under a local anesthetic to remove and test cells for abnormalities that could lead to cancer. This procedure could lead to the prevention of possible future breast cancer patients and could save future lives.

Phillips continues her general surgery practices in Atlanta and Lithonia, Georgia, and has been practicing medicine for thirty years.

Accession Number

A2006.116

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/13/2006 |and| 2/24/2008

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

A.F. Herndon Elementary School

E. P. Johnson Elementary School

Murphy High School

University of Georgia

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

University of Bridgeport

Emory University

First Name

Rogsbert

Birth City, State, Country

Newnan

HM ID

PHI01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rome, Italy

Favorite Quote

When You Learn, You Teach. When You Get, You Give Back.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

7/12/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Surgeon Dr. Rogsbert Phillips (1948 - ) conducted her general surgery practices in Atlanta and Lithonia, Georgia. One of the top breast cancer specialists in the United States, she founded Sisters By Choice and started an annual Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend in Atlanta.

Employment

American Cyanamid Company

University of Bridgeport

Private Practice

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Rogsbert Phillips' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her parents' elopement

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes the story behind her name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips recalls family dinners and holidays

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips remembers Atlanta's Southwest neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips remembers Atlanta's Summerhill neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her childhood pastimes with her family

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes Atlanta's Kirkwood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her experiences of racial discrimination at the University of Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips remembers J.C. Murphy High School in Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips recalls the deaths of political and civil rights leaders

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her admiration for her sister

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips recalls choosing to attend the University of Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips recalls her arrival at the University of Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her experiences of racial discrimination at the University of Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips reflects upon discrimination in schools and the work force

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her organizational involvement in college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her graduate studies at Bridgeport University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her decision to attend medical school, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her decision to attend medical school, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her classmates at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips reflects upon her decision to become a doctor

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her decision to specialize in surgery

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips recalls her graduation from Emory University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips remembers opening her private practice

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips remembers meeting her research partner, Susan Love

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips remembers founding Sisters By Choice

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes the programs organized by Sisters By Choice

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her frustrations over cancer treatment

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her work with Susan Love

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Rogsbert Phillips' interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her work at American Cyanamid Company

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her residency program at Emory University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her work in clinical trial studies

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips recalls other doctors' support for her private practice

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips recalls how she became a breast disease specialist

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips reflects upon the impact of race on her practice, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips reflects upon the impact of race on her practice, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her relationship with Dr. Harold Freeman

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips shares her reasons for creating Sisters By Choice, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips shares her reasons for creating Sisters By Choice, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her involvement with clinical trials, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her involvement with clinical trials, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes the history of breast cancer treatment

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips talks about breast cancer's prevalence in the media

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes the goals of Sisters By Choice

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips shares her thoughts on universal healthcare policies

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes preventative breast cancer treatments

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips talks about hereditary breast cancer

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes the importance of preventative methods

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips reflects upon the need for breast cancer education

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips explains when to begin having mammograms

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips remembers individuals who influenced her, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips remembers individuals who influenced her, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips shares her advice for future generations

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Rogsbert Phillips narrates her photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$5

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Dr. Rogsbert Phillips describes her decision to attend medical school, pt. 2
Dr. Rogsbert Phillips recalls how she became a breast disease specialist
Transcript
Then it became major, major problem for me you know. Because when I applied to medical school, it was an option, it was an option of two you know. And I had seriously started thinking about it you know whether or not I wanted to do it and then I had gone to my boss, my supervisor at American Cyanamid [American Cyanamid Company] and I had told him that I wanted to do some traveling, I wanted to go overseas to work. And they were saying, "Yeah, we'll support you." American Cyanamid, we had three lady docs as scientists, and I was the only one with a master's [degree] and the boss' wife and another young lady. And so I really, and this company is really like family, I mean, it was just a nice environment. And being a researcher, you know, they give you projects, you do it on your own time, you know. If you finish the project you out of there, you know what I mean. And so I really, really enjoyed it. And so it was a big question you know, do I go to medical school or you know. And this time I'm making good money too and then they telling me you know, whatever you want to do you know, we'll do it. And so it was a company that I saw myself growing old in, okay. So I decided I'm not going to medical school, you know. And so my boss came to me and he says, "What?" I said, "I'm not going." He said, "Before you decide," this is in Greenwich, Connecticut, all right, "before you decide just go down to New York [New York] and talk to them," and so I said, "Okay." So on a Friday I took off, go down to New York and I drive. And although I've gone to New York and you know when you go in just for entertainment, drive down to New York, you don't see all of New York City, right. So Columbia University [New York, New York] is up 169th Street, you know. And you drive down and you try to figure out, now where am I going to park, I mean, I can't see myself living down here, what's going on here. So I go in and talk to the people, and we talk and I say to them, you know I really appreciate the invitation to join your class but I can't come, and they want to know why and it's I don't have any money. Well they had given me some money, but they said, "Okay, you know, go over and talk to the financial people," so they give me more money, you know what I'm saying. Okay so I go back to work and here it is my excuse for not coming you know. So I go back to work Monday and my supervisor said, "Okay Zel [HistoryMaker Dr. Rogsbert Phillips] what you going to do?" "I am not going to medical school, I'll be here." He said, "You sure?" "Nope I'm not going to medical school." All my colleagues, "You sure you're not going?" "Nope, I'm not going," you know. So I was sitting down Tuesday night writing the Columbia University a letter looking at the Knick [New York Knicks] game, writing a letter, typing, you know, you typing. Typing a letter to Columbia saying, you know I appreciate the opportunity, but I'm not coming to Columbia. And I couldn't write that letter, I just could not. So instead I wrote a letter resigning my position. So that's how I ended up in medical school because it was an opportunity that I could not walk away from. I mean and so that's how I ended up in medical school, and that was you know one of the pivoting decisions in my life. And you know I went to medical school and I enjoyed medical school. It gave me an opportunity to further you know grow and mature as a person. But more importantly it really opened up a world where I think, to be able to every, day in and day out, to impact one's life. It's overwhelming, you know, and I don't take for granted being a physician on any level. And my experience in medical school and subsequently meeting patients and interacting with patients. Every patient that I see it confirms to me that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I thoroughly enjoy my life, I enjoy being a physician. And I just can't think of doing anything else, I really can't.$When you first started, when you first opened your office, you were not focusing on the breast surgery.$$I was not focusing on breast surgery and as I said, being an African American female there were certain doctors who just didn't refer patients to me because of that. Not because I didn't take good care of their patients, it was, it was just a good old boy system, you know. But as I, you know, made a statement here in the medical community, and that statement was that I was an excellent doctor taking care of their patients. I mean, there was no question about the level of care, quality of care I gave that patient. You cannot ignore that, I mean, no matter how you want to, and because of that, you know, people start you know giving me more of a chance to take care of their patients, and they were satisfied, the patients were satisfied, and by word of mouth, you know, and referring, patients came to me because, you know, their mother you know, or their father I took care of. But one thing that was unique is that the, my reputation for taking care of breast disease you know was dominated by everything else I took care of. And it got to the point that my referring doctors, no matter what else, you know, walked in their doors for disease process, if it was a breast problem, it was just automatically sent to Dr. Phillips [HistoryMaker Dr. Rogsbert Phillips]. And early on you know if I think about how my practice kind of evolved you know into taking care of patients with breast disease you know I look back and you know my first operation as a student with a breast case, you know, the first, you know, as a resident [at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia], you know, I was on a breast service, my brief, my advisor in medical school was a breast specialist, all right. And so everything, I mean, I keep saying, you know, breast, breast, breast, I mean, it just kept coming, you know, hitting me right square in the eye, you know. And I enjoy taking care of breast patients. And so it just developed, you know, I was there and people you know were referring me, you know, their breast problems.$$And was it because of the great success you were having with their patients?$$You know if we look at how medicine has evolved for women doctors in general, there has been different aspect of medicine that women naturally excelled in. If you look at pediatrics, okay when women were allowed by the male you know, well, I shouldn't say that, when women was allowed to go to medical school, and if you look at the number one field they went into, it was pediatrics and then if you look at in late '80s [1980s] and '90s [1990s], you know, the OB/GYN [obstetrics and gynecology] dominated, you know, choices for women. And I think it was just easier for us. I mean, let's face it, it's not easy being in a male dominated field, profession. I mean, no matter, you can go outside medicine, and I think it was just easier for men to accept us in different roles in medicine. When I came out in surgery, there was only a handful of women throughout the United States was into surgery. And most of us you know if you look at the development of our practice, particularly people in my age, breast was just easier for people to you know to refer to us. And then if you look at, women felt more comfortable you know coming to a woman doctor with breast disease. And that's not to say that men are not as compassionate and or not equipped to take care of the disease, I would never say that because even today medicine is still dominated by men, but I think people recognize that when it comes to breast disease, I bring something to the table that a man cannot bring to it, and that's my you know gender, you know. And women today you know will, you know I have a lot of patients who come to me primarily because I am a woman.

Frank Smith

Commentator, civil rights activist, politician, and speaker Frank Smith, Jr. was born on September 17, 1942, in Newnan, Georgia. His mother was a homemaker and his father was a farmer and truck driver. In 1959, Smith earned his high school diploma from Central High School, where he was a member of the New Farmers of America as well as the debate team, choir and drama club.

From 1959 until 1962, Smith attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he was a founding member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Smith left Morehouse during his senior year to play a role in the Civil Rights Movement. From 1962 until 1968, Smith worked with SNCC organizing and registering African Americans voters in Mississippi and Alabama. He is noted for his involvement and leadership role in planning and executing protests and marches in Greenwood, Mississippi, during the Freedom Summer of 1964.

In 1968, Smith moved to Washington, D.C., when he accepted a job as a researcher for the Institute for Policy Studies, focusing on education and planning issues. Smith became involved in local community issues and was elected to serve as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC). In 1978, Smith unsuccessfully ran for the District of Columbia City Council, but the following year he was elected to public office and served one term on the D.C. Board of Education. In 1980, Smith earned his Ph.D. degree from the Union Institute in Ohio.

In 1982, Smith was elected to the District of Columbia City Council where he represented one of the most racially, ethnically and economically diverse wards in the city. Smith was subsequently elected to serve four terms on the Council, remaining there until 1998. During his tenure on the Council, Smith supported legislation creating subsidies for housing down payments, a lottery system for disposing of condemned and surplus housing and establishing tax incentives for new business development.

In 1998, Smith became chairman of the board and chief executive officer for the organization which worked to establish the African American Civil War Memorial and an accompanying museum. It is the only national memorial to the colored troops who fought in the Civil War and one of the most unique memorials in Washington, D.C.

Smith has received numerous awards for his civic, community and political leadership.

Accession Number

A2004.257

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/13/2004

Last Name

Smith

Organizations
Schools

St. John Batist Church School

Northside Junior High School

Central High School

Morehouse College

Institute for Policy Studies

First Name

Frank

Birth City, State, Country

Newnan

HM ID

SMI08

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

France

Favorite Quote

God's been good to me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/17/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Civil rights activist, cultural heritage chief executive, and city council member Frank Smith (1942 - ) is a founding member of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and has served on District of Columbia City Council. Smith is the founder and director of the African American Civil War Memorial. During his tenure on the Council, Smith supported legislation creating subsidies for housing down payments, a lottery system for disposing of condemned and surplus housing and establishing tax incentives for new business development.

Employment

District of Columbia City Council

African American Civil War Memorial

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Frank Smith interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Frank Smith's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Frank Smith describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Frank Smith describes his father and recalls family and community traditions in Coweta county, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Frank Smith remembers his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Frank Smith describes attempts to trace his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Frank Smith shares his earliest memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Frank Smith lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Frank Smith recalls Christmas, churchgoing and self help traditions of their rural community in Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Frank Smith discusses the plantation where he grew up and his father's stress on education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Frank Smith recalls his early involvement in the church

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Frank Smith describes his childhood environs

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Frank Smith recounts his early school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Frank Smith recalls the sights, smells and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Frank Smith recalls having few outside news sources and describes his interest in baseball and reading

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Frank Smith recalls his talents and personality as a child and youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Frank Smith describes his early sense of responsibility

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Frank Smith talks about Georgians migrating to Chicago to work

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Frank Smith recalls his high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Frank Smith remembers the influence of his parents and two high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Frank Smith describes the road to college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Frank Smith describes his education at Morehouse and his involvement in SNCC

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Frank Smith recounts the dangers faced by SNCC activists in Greenwood, Mississippi, 1962-1964

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Frank Smith recalls his time in Washington, D.C. during the 1960s and 70s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Frank Smith tells how his parents were threatened with eviction because of his civil rights activism

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Frank Smith discusses his work on the Washington, D.C. school board and city council

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Frank Smith explains his interest in the black soldiers in the U.S. Civil War

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Frank Smith evaluates public affairs in Washington, D.C. in the 1970s to 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Frank Smith evaluates Marion Barry's arrest and comeback

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Frank Smith discusses the role of African Americans in the U.S. Civil War

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Frank Smith discusses the African American Civil War Memorial

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Frank Smith discusses his family life

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Frank Smith reflects on his life's course