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Dr. Christopher Leggett

Clinical interventional cardiologist Dr. Christopher J.W.B. Leggett was born on November 8, 1960, in Cleveland, Ohio, the tenth of eleven children to Willie and Ethel Leggett. At thirteen years of age, Leggett was awarded a three year academic scholarship by the A Better Chance organization to attend Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. After his high school graduation, Leggett received a four year scholarship to attend Princeton University. While attending Princeton, Leggett was a campus leader and member of the Princeton University basketball team. In 1982, Leggett graduated from Princeton University with his B.A. degree in sociology.

In 1982, after attending the University of Cincinnati’s School of Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio, Leggett attended Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, where he received his M.D. degree. At Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Leggett was also chairman of the Student National Medical Association. In 1986, Leggett interned in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland; after completing his residency at Johns Hopkins in 1989, Leggett completed his cardiology fellowship at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1992, Leggett became a physician at the Cardiovascular Laboratory in the Veterans Administration Hospital at the Emory University School of Medicine in Decatur, Georgia. In 1993, Leggett became an interventional cardiology fellow in the Department of Cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. During his fellowship, Leggett was under the tutelage of world leader and pioneer, Dr. Gary S. Roubin.

In 2002, Leggett was appointed by the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Practicing Physician Advisory Council in Washington, D.C. for a four year term. In 2002, a Georgia State Senate Resolution honored Leggett for his contributions to society; in May of that same year, Leggett was the recipient of the President’s Award at Oakwood College for being an exemplary role model for Alumni. Leggett is the Director of Cardiology at Medical Associates of North Georgia and practices medicine at Northside Hospital – Cherokee in Canton, Georgia; St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta, Georgia; and Gwinnett Health System in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Christopher Leggett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.253

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2007 |and| 2/26/2008

Last Name

Leggett

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Phillips Academy

Princeton University

University of Cincinnati

Mary M Bethune Elementary School

Harry E. Davis Junior High School

First Name

Christopher

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

LEG02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Itay

Favorite Quote

I Belong Everywhere I Go Because My Best Friend, Jesus Christ Owns The World.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/8/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Cardiologist and healthcare executive Dr. Christopher Leggett (1960 - ) was the Director of Cardiology at Medical Associates of North Georgia and practiced at multiple medical institutions in the Southeastern region, particularly in Atlanta, Georgia.

Employment

Medical Associates of North Georgia

University of Alabama, Bimingham

Emory University School of Medicine

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Atlanta VA Medical Center

Piedmont Hospital

St. Joseph's Hospital, Atlanta

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Christopher Leggett's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett lists his mother's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his father's discipline

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls the aftermath of his father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his mother's strength

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his brother, Robert Leggett

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers a lesson from his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his early academic success

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his peers at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remember a classmate at Harry E. Davis Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his community in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his childhood activities

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his admittance to the Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his parents' attitudes about race

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his arrival at Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers John F. Kennedy, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls the rigorous coursework at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his friends at the Phillips Academy Andover, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his strength as a math student

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his exposure to white culture at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his teachers at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his friends at the Phillips Academy Andover, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his college aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Christopher Leggett's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about the Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his project on the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the A Better Chance program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls befriending his peers at the Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his activities at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the campus of the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers John F. Kennedy, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls playing basketball at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to attend Princeton University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his transition to Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his summer work experiences

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his religious life at the Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his coursework at Princeton University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to pursue medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls playing basketball for Princeton University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to attend the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers attending Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his mentors at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers attending the University of Cincinnati

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the challenges of his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his influences at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his experiences as a medical resident

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his wife's career

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers the mentorship of Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr.

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes a lesson from Dr. Levi Watkins

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his experiences of discrimination at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his philosophy of mentorship

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers a lesson from his wife

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to specialize in cardiology

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to accept a fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the field of interventional cardiology

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the cause and treatment of a heart attack

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about the advancements in interventional cardiology, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his training under Gary Roubin

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about the advancements in interventional cardiology, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers Gary Roubin

Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to join the Medical Associates of North Georgia in Canton, Georgia

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to join the Medical Associates of North Georgia

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls treating a heart attack in a pregnant patient

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett lists the hospitals where he worked

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his appointment to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his hobbies

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his children

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his mother's lessons

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Dr. Christopher Leggett reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Dr. Christopher Leggett reflects upon his wife's influence

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett narrates his photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$8

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his strength as a math student
Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his experiences of discrimination at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland
Transcript
What were some of the courses that you took there that you know that you probably would not have been exposed to in Ohio (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) You know, a lot of English, math. I, I think for me, the thing that--and it wasn't all positive; don't get me wrong. I mean I had this one teacher who was a jerk; she told me I had to stop writing black English--whatever that was, and I said, "Okay, I'm not sure what that is, but if you can help me understand what it is, I'll be happy to try and modify it." But the one--the mainstay for me that let me know I belonged was, was math is objective. Whether you liked me or not, there was one answer. You couldn't read my essay and give me a C because you just felt like, I'm not giving this African American student an A because this just, you know, because I don't like the way it sounds. But if you got the answer right in math--so, when I initially went there, my grades initially fell in like subjects like English and biology because it's more subjective, (unclear) written it. But math let me know that I belong, because it was objective and I always got great grades in math, and I just--and it always let me know that I was smart, so that I, I said to myself, I, I'll get this other stuff together, and I'll figure out what I gotta do to raise that up. But it was kind of the mainstay for me educationally because it was, it was non-subjective, it was objective, and it was scientific and, and so it helped me through that first semester not get depressed about going from always being a straight A student to having, you know, some different grades. And then, you know, by eleventh grade and twelfth grade years [at Phillips Academy Andover, Andover, Massachusetts], they were back up to what I was used to. But, you know, you, you have these challenges and you gotta meet them and you gotta have something inside you to meet them with. And those are the lessons, like I told you, about my brother [Robert Leggett], and watching my mother [Ethel Leggett] and father [Willie Leggett, Sr.]; that's--those are the lessons they give you, the sort of undergirding, that when you're swimming upstream, that you just don't quit.$You were gonna tell me a story about one of the patients during your residency [at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, well--you know, there, there are--I, I, I can think of two quick ones. I was on rounds one night with the other medical students--or one morning, and we had one African American dean, and he had admitted a patient and, on the rounds the next morning, just to give you a sense of kind of, you know, what students were used to, the students--well, the student who had worked this patient up--a medical student sent on rounds, he had given his presentation, then he said, you know, "Yeah, there was this, you know, there's this black guy sitting there by the patient's bed," and I said, "Well," I said, "did you ask him about his name yet?" He said, "Yeah, he said his name was Dr. Smoot [Roland T. Smoot]." I said, "Well, Dr. Smoot actually is the dean of this medical school." And the student then said, he said, "Well, he doesn't look like a dean." And I said to him, I said, "Well, what does a dean look like?" And, and, and, and, and basically, what he was saying is he had never seen a black dean, so all deans were white; it wasn't--he had a suit on, he looked intelligent, you know; it was his patient, but he just didn't look like a dean. And, and I, I just felt like I needed to take that opportunity to let him know that, "Frankly, you know, you know, you need to broaden your definition of what deans look like because this is a dean. He's the dean of this medical school and, and you, you should know that, being a medical student. But going forward, you know, you really need to guard yourself from comments that are fairly uninformed like this, so that you don't look so--just absolutely unintelligent when you say it." So, anyway, I mean I, I just felt like you gotta take opportunities. This is all about education because that same attitude can pervade another interaction with a patient and, and you just have to take opportunities to help people, you know, sort of be educated. But then there was another personal one that I had that I was taking care of this guy who was on a trach collar, which means he was on a respirator, an African American patient who had throat cancer, couldn't even talk, and I was going in to evaluate him 'cause I was--had to work him up, and he was gonna be on my service, and I kept, kept hearing him trying to mouth something through the respirator and, and I just leaned down and I got real close to him and he was mouthing out, in his words, "You--you ain't qualified," that's what he was saying. And, and I think, you know, what he was struggling with, which is an internal cultural pathology at times, is that, you know: I'm used to a white doctor taking care of me and, you know, I can't conceptually get my mind around having a black doctor take care of me, so--in other words, I want the qualified white guy. And, and it is funny, because I had just taken care of a Jewish individual earlier that day in the intensive care unit who had said the exact opposite; he said, "Dr. Leggett [HistoryMaker Dr. Christopher Leggett], I want you to take care of me," and I said, "Why?" He said, "Because if you're here, that means you're probably three times as qualified as some of the other doctors walking around, since the numbers are so low--it's only two of you." He said, "No, that--I want you to take care of me." So, you would have these social dynamic paradigms in, in care that would exist quite often and, and you'd have to have a very strong sense of self, and the resolve within yourself of, of who you are and what you represented intellectually so that you would not allow yourself to become angry or intimidated one way or the other. But there were sort of variety of experiences that, that you'd experience and, and quite frankly, people--you know, you would walk in rooms in, in that institution; they just did not--it is not commonplace, at that time, for them to interact with the--a physician of color; they, they would think that you're just a, a, you know, a transporter with a, you know, a doctor's coat on; I mean something--they just couldn't, couldn't grasp it, so--anyway, you just, you know, sort of work through that, kind of.