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Guide to Oral Histories in Medicine and the Health Sciences

J. Bay Jacobs, M.D. Library for the History of Obstetrics and Gynecology in America
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


List of Interviewees


  • WOODARD BEACHAM, MD (1983, Atlanta) 1st ACOG President
  • KEITH RUSSELL, MD (1984, San Francisco) President of the College twice, finishing the unexpired term of Dr. Willis Brown in 1969, and in his own right, 1973-74. Speaks about establishment of CREOG and CITROG.
  • FRED HOFMEISTER, MD (1984, San Francisco) President from 1974-75, speaks about establishment of NAACOG and of Junior Fellow category of membership, graduates from medical school who have not yet passed certification exam.
  • JOHN WHETHAM, MD (1985, Washington, DC) Past-President Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC)
  • RUSSELL DE ALVAREZ, MD (1985, Washington, DC) Founding Fellow and respected teacher of the profession, he has attended every ACM. Speaks about how these meetings have changed.
  • O. L. PARSONS, MD (1985, Washington, DC) Born before Oklahoma became a state, his first ob case was a delivery in a covered wagon. Speaks about how profession has changed since then.
  • CLYDE RANDALL, MD (1985, Washington, DC) (2 tapes; produced spring '93) First tape records history of ABOG, the certification organization for the specialty. Second tape records establishment of the Residency Review Committee.
  • J. ROBERT WILLSON, MD (1987, Las Vegas) Speaks of books he authored, changes in responsibilities of department chairs, and the changing cesarean section rate.
  • MARTIN L. STONE, MD (1987, Las Vegas) Discusses medical education and his contributions to the residency review committee.
  • SPRAGUE GARDINER, MD (1988, Boston) As president of ACOG in 1972, formed congress committee on perinatal health and spent 4 years documenting improvements of outcomes of pregnancies. Promoted centralizing centers for high-risk women.
  • LUELLA KLEIN, MD (1989, Atlanta) (1st woman president of ACOG) Pioneered use of PSA on unintended pregnancies and suggests ways to increase women's participation in ACOG.
  • ERVIN NICHOLS, MD (1990, San Francisco)"A History of ACOG, May 8, 1990" Relates his early career in western Washington, education in Walla Walla and Loma Linda and early private practice partnership, experience as flight surgeon in WWII and his 17 years as head of Practice Activities and Education at ACOG, including his role in ACOG's move from Chicago to Washington, DC.
  • LEROY WEEKES, MD (1991, New Orleans) Relates how he was able to get a College education during the depression by winning an Elks oratorical contest in late 1920's. Studied under Julian W. Ross at Howard and now works at the medical center in LA named after him. Speaks of residency in Chicago, experience as flight surgeon in Armed Forces where he attained rank of major in the Medical Corps and of his long service to the community of Los Angeles. Touches on experience as one of very early Afro-American physicians there, and gives many tributes to those who have assisted him through the years.
  • GEORGE RYAN, MD (1991, New Orleans) President from 1981-82, during move from Chicago to Washington, DC, Ryan became a spokesman for the profession to Congress, and tells of having to defend ACOG's stand on abortion and birth control to congress and the news media and of his invitation to the Rose Garden and meeting with Pres. Reagan during the campaign for automobile seat belt protection for pregnant women. His avocation as Dixieland jazz musician takes up about 1/2 of tape.
  • ALBERT GERBIE, MD (1992, Las Vegas) Speaks of his experiences as associate editor for the Grey Journal, the SGO journal and the ACOG Current Journal Review, remembrances of Ralph Reis, and president of ABOG.
  • JAMES BREEN, MD (1992, Las Vegas) Taught pathology and made innovations in surgery techniques; speaks of the impact Roe v. Wade had on ACOG.
  • HAROLD KAMINETZKY, MD (1993, Washington) Worked under Frederic H. Falls and Wm. F. Mengert, developed an experimental model for cervical cancer, and studied women's nutrition and the connection between diet history and women's health and pregnancies. Directed Practice Activities at ACOG.
  • BROOKS RANNEY, MD (1993, Washington) Conducted clinical studies on cases such as difficult placenta delivery and operation for endometriosis and breech deliveries over extended period of time, keeping records of 7000 deliveries and 6000 operations in a card file (!) and wrote patient education articles for Ladies Home Journal as part of ACOG's Committee for Public Education in late 50's.
  • HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LIVING HISTORY (4/26/93) In honor of Dr. Pearse's retirement. Excerpts from oral history tapings from 1983 to 1992.
  • WARREN PEARSE, MD (1994, Orlando) Recounts how he became involved in ACOG, the move from Chicago to DC, and establishment of APGO. Interviewed by Ralph Hale, MD.
  • WILLIAM T MIXSON, MD (1994, Orlando) Focused on professional liability and government relations as ACOG President, 1985-6.
  • HARRY S JONAS, MD (1995, San Francisco) Key issues as President of ACOG were professional liability, unintended pregnancy and abortion; Left private practice in St. Louis to chair Dept of Ob/Gyn in '78 and was Dean of medical school until 1987 when he went to AMA in Chicago.
  • GEORGE MORLEY, MD (1995, San Francisco) Has been at U of Michigan since beginning medical school in 1941 and specialized in gynecologic surgery. Took further preceptorship in gynecologic oncology. Worked to merge ob/gyn societies into the ACOG sections.
  • SHIRLEY SHELTON (1996, Denver) (ACOG staff) Was hired by Ervin Nichols in 1969 as secretary. Her responsibilities quickly became primary staff for educational committees, membership committees and coordinator for continuing education programs for non-ob/gyns. Many of these functions have now become full departments with many staff persons. Speaks of working with John McCain and Ed Gibbs and of her work on the ACOG publications Perinatal Guidelines and Women's Healthcare Standards.
  • ELAINE LOCKE (1996, Denver) (ACOG staff) Hired as ACOG's legislative assistant in 1970, Locke started a government relations program after Dr. Pearse cut government relations from a committee to a staff position and currently 10 staff support this activity. Had the responsibility of determining the feasibility of moving ACOG from Chicago to DC and ran the first ACOG office in DC out of her studio apartment. Staffs Committee on Ethics, first medical specialty to have one.
  • BILL MCDANNEL (1997, Las Vegas) ACOG's convention manager, 1970-95, seeing attendance, post-grad courses and exhibits triple. Describes an early '70's ACM.
  • ROY PITKIN, MD (1997, Las Vegas) Editor of Green Journal since 1986 and professor and dept chair of ob/gyn at UCLA, studied under Wm C. Keettel and Wm Mengert.
  • HAROLD KAMINETZKY, MD AND MARTIN STONE, MD (1998, New Orleans) On move from Chicago.
  • EZRA DAVIDSON, MD (1998, New Orleans) Speaks of early years in Water Valley, MS where his father was instrumental in bringing his segregated school to high school status and of his loving relationship with his grandfather whose illness and death inspired his resolve to become a doctor.
  • J. BAY JACOBS, MD (1986, Washington, DC) (For whom Historical Collection is named) Speaks of some of his inventions and of his early career in Washington, DC.
  • JANE HODGSON, MD (1999, Philadelphia) Describes how she happened to switch from internal medicine to ob/gyn at the Mayo Clinic, her experience as a general practitioner in Symrna Beach, FL, and how she became aware of the very harsh laws against abortion, criminalizing both Drs and patients. She has labored for women's access to care throughout her career, a very frequent writer of editorials and to legislators. In 1969 she challenged MN law with a test case abortion; case languished in courts, rendering her unable to practice, until Roe v. Wade.
  • ARTHUR HERBST, MD (1999, Philadelphia) Details his discovery of the connection between DES taken by pregnant women and tumors in their young women offspring.
  • LEO J. DUNN, MD (2000, San Francisco)
  • WILLIAM C. ANDREWS, MD (2000, San Francisco)
  • GLORIA SARTO, MD (2001, Chicago)
  • GEORGE D. MALKASIAN, MD (2001, Chicago)
  • HARRISON C. VISSCHER, MD (2002, Los Angeles)
  • RICHARD H. SCHWARZ, MD (2002, Los Angeles)
  • FREDERIC D. FRIGOLETTO, JR., MD (2003, New Orleans)
  • VICKI L. SALTZER, MD (2003, New Orleans)
  • W. BENSON HARER, JR., MD (2004, Philadelphia)
  • THOMAS F. BASKETT, MB (2004, Philadelphia) Former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Former President of the Canadian Gynaecological Society. Professor, Dept. of Ob/Gyn, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Author of many works including, On the Shoulders of Giants: Eponyms and Names in Obstetrics and Gyanecology.
  • ROBERT C. PARK, MD (2005, San Francisco)
  • RICHARD S. HOLLIS, MD (2005, San Francisco)
  • RICHARD F. JONES III, MD (2006, Washington, DC)
  • STANLEY ZINBERG, MD MS (2006, Washington, DC) (ACOG Staff)
  • PAMELA VAN HINE, MLS AHIP (2006, Washington, DC) (ACOG Staff)