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Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr.

Internal medicine physician Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. was born on March 22, 1925 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Dr. George Clayton Branche, Sr. and Lillian Vester Davidson. Branche attended Boston Latin High School in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated in June of 1942. He then attended and graduated from Bowdon College in Brunswick, Maine, earning his B.A. degree in 1946. Branche graduated from Boston University’s Medical School in 1948 earning his M.D. degree.

After earning his medical degree, Branche worked as a medical intern at Boston City Hospital between 1948 and 1949. In July of 1949, Branche started his residency in internal medicine at Cushing Veterans’ Hospital. After his residency ended in 1951, he earned a cancer fellowship at Tufts Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After his cancer fellowship, Branche entered the U.S. Army. Between October and December of 1952, Branche attended medical field service school at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas in preparation for service overseas during the Korean Conflict. Between December of 1952 and May 15, 1954, Branche served in the U.S. Army as a medical officer. He was honorably discharged in November of 1954, achieving the rank of captain.

Branche started to practice internal medicine in Richmond, Virginia near the end of 1954 after leaving the U.S. Army. The following year, he got married and started a family. After seven years in Richmond, Branche and his family moved to New York City, where he practiced medicine with his brother, Dr. Matthew Branche. Branche worked in the Admissions Department at Columbia University Medical School. Branche also helped found the organization, 100 Black Men. He was involved with the organization for forty-three years and was an active member for many years.

Branche passed away on April 23, 2009 at age 84.

Accession Number

A2006.152

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/6/2006 |and| 12/12/2006

Last Name

Branche

Maker Category
Middle Name

Clayton

Schools

Boston Latin School

James P. Timilty Middle School

Chambliss Children's House at Tuskegee Institute

Boston University School of Medicine

Bowdoin College

First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

Tuskegee

HM ID

BRA06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/22/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Fish, Vegetables

Death Date

4/23/2009

Short Description

Internal medicine physician Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. (1925 - 2009 ) was a medical officer during the Korean Conflict, was a founder of 100 Black Men and had his own internal medicine practice in New York City.

Employment

U.S. Army

Boston City Hospital

Cushing General Hospital

Harlem Hospital Center

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing in North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his paternal great-uncle, George Clayton Shaw

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his father's childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his father's university education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. talks about his father's medical research

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his father's social involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his family life in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls travelling with his family as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls Camp Emlen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls moving to Boston, Massachusetts for high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls differences between Boston and Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls the Roxbury community in Boston

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls his mother and siblings' move to Boston

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls his decision to study medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his internship at Boston City Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls his medical internship and residency

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls joining the U.S. Army as a medical officer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his service in the Korean War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. remembers segregation in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls returning from the Korean War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls moving to Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls his medical career in New York City, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls the difficulties of practicing medicine in Richmond

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his medical career in New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his social involvement in New York

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his wife and his friends at Harlem Hospital Center

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. talks about George Clayton Shaw's writings

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes the history of Mary Potter Academy, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes the history of Mary Potter Academy, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls serving with black physicians in the Korean War

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his medical duties in the Korean War

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. talks about why he settled in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls Richmond's African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls moving to New York City in 1962

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls his early medical career in New York City

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls practicing medicine with his brother

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his community involvement in Harlem, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his involvement in 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls his medical career in New York City, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes Westchester County, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes the community of Scarsdale, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes African Americans' presence in the medical profession

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes the medical issues facing the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his concerns about healthcare for African Americans

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes the operations of the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his work with the Westchester Clubmen

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. talks about his Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity membership

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. talks about his three children

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$6

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. recalls his decision to study medicine
Dr. George Clayton Branche, Jr. describes his medical duties in the Korean War
Transcript
I'll ask you now, but we'll keep going in chronological order. Well, why was that not an option for you? Why did you not see that as a path for you to take?$$I wasn't interested. I was afraid to fly. I was afraid to ride a horse. I was afraid to ride, I fell off a pony at camp and never rode a horse, and I had no interest in it, and I was active, and I wanted to go to medical school, and I was fortunate, they needed doctors.$$Had you always been interested in medicine?$$I never thought of anything else.$$For how long? How far back can you remember?$$Well, as far as I can remember. That's the only think I knew. I lived in a community of doctors, my father [George Clayton Branche, Sr.] was a doctor, his close friends were physicians. I didn't know what kind I would be, but I never thought, as I said, and I'll get to the, once I got into Bowdoin College [Brunswick, Maine], I had spent almost two years there, 1944, I had finished my, I finished Boston Latin [Boston Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts] in '42 [1942]. I spent two years at Bowdoin and was told that unless I got into medical school that I would be subject to the draft. I only, didn't have enough, yeah, I only had two years, but I took a summer and at that time all, many of my classmates were in the same situation I was. We were only nineteen and twenty and so the colleges, Williams [Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts], Bowdoin, many of us, my friend Garrett [John Garrett, Jr.] at Amherst [Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts], we were allowed to go to medical school and we, and then we accelerated very rapidly, but then in 1945, the war [World War II, WWII] sort of ended and we decelerated so we spent a couple, one six-month period without going to school, and we had to write a little thesis and do something else, and then went on back and finished. And, but the reason, as I said, I was always interested in medicine. And at Boston University [Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts], it was a very tiny school. When my father went there, there were only twenty-three students at the medical school. And three of 'em was black, including my father. And when I went to BU medical school, it was still small. There were only fifty-nine and now there're over 160 in each class.$$How many blacks were there when you were there of the fifty-nine?$$Very, I was the only one in my class, just like I was the only one at Bowdoin, except for a young fellow who was there for a year and left to go in the [U.S.] Army.$$Where did you live when you went out to Bowdoin?$$When I went back, when I came back from Bowdoin? My mother [Lillian Davidson Branche] had moved to 71 Highland Street. A family moved out and she moved in the same building, apartment, little apartment in Boston [Massachusetts], and I used to ride a bicycle from my apartment to the medical school. I'd get on my, had my books on the back and I'd get on my little bike and kids would say look, there's a man on a bike. So I rode that and they would let me hook it up inside the building and then I would bicycle back up to, it was a couple, maybe mile and a half, two miles.$But I only spent a, no more than four or five weeks, and then I was allowed, I traded places with this fellow, as I told you I don't like flying, but I was willing to get into a little tiny two-seater with my duffel bag and fly south. And while I was there I was--you had to have a dispensary. You had to have a dispensary for soldiers when they had various problems, whether they're STS [significant threshold shift], sexually transmitted disorders, or various other things, or whether the common cold or whether they were this or that. They would come to the dispensary. Now--$$A dispensary is a pharmacy basically.$$The dispensary is a little tent where I had, had a little desk and things, and I had pills and so forth to treat--injections for certain disorders. But I saw very few sick people in this little--now there weren't, there wasn't a great deal of fighting going on. You remember there were little lulls in fighting. Now we're talking now, we're talking, I got to this hospital and about February of 1993 [sic. 1953], and there were no major battles or anything going on. Occasionally there was a push so to speak when the Chinese became involved and there were skirmishes and so they came, they did bring in, as I said, this was Evacuation Hospital [11th Evacuation Hospital, Korea]. They would bring troops down from the lines and so there were times when there were troops who had to have emergency surgical procedures which is what some of my friends were involved with. But I couldn't help out because I knew nothing about surgical tech. In fact, they would ask all of the officers, medical officers, to come and give a hand, and I recall, I never will forget it, when I got in the operating room, and my friend Wharton [ph.] would be operating, really working hard, and I would try to, he said, "Gee you're all thumbs," he said, "please leave." And I was, I had to leave. But anyhow, as things passed on, what happened was I allowed the Korean civilians to come into the clinic, those who had medical problems that I could handle, and so each morning you would see a line up outside, see it was a gate, not a gate, but a guard would be there opening, letting them into our little ground, camp, whatever you want to call them, you'd find maybe fifteen, twenty or so lined up coming in, and so it was okay. In fact, the U.S., my superiors said, sure, you can see as many as you, so they would line up and take their time and I would see them for various forms of anemia, a lot of parasitic diseases and minor problems that I could handle and they were grateful, and I enjoyed it, because otherwise I wouldn't have been practicing any medicine.$$You wouldn't have had anything to do.$$Very little.$$Very little.$$And so anyhow, I was there for about ten, let's see, from oh about eight to ten months and then I was transferred to the area near Seoul [South Korea], to the 121st Evacuation Hospital. That was in the town across from the Han River from Yeongam-eup [South Korea], I got promoted to captaincy, I was captain, and did primarily--much bigger facility and we, the general medical, we had medical wards and treated more medical problems, I left there. The war ended as you will recall only a few months after I got to Korea actually. And I left Korea in 1954, and came to, back to the states.