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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society


525 Middlefield Rd., Suite 130, Menlo Park, CA 94025


(650) 329-0291

Fax Number

(650) 329-1618


Contact Person

Carolyn Kuckein, Administrator


Access and Services

The recordings (available in VHS or three-quarter inch format) may be borrowed without charge by Alpha Omega Alpha chapters, universities, medical societies, and professional and historical groups. The videotapes may be purchased for $30.00 each. To borrow or purchase a copy write to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.


Alpha Omega Alpha is the only national honor medical society in the world. Its raison d'etre can be expressed in a phrase: to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the medical profession. As stated in the society's constitution, "Alpha Omega Alpha is organized for educational purposes exclusively and not for profit, and its aims shall be the promotion of scholarship and research in medical schools, the encouragement of a high standard of character and conduct among medical students and graduates, and the recognition of high attainment in medical science, practice, and related fields".

To fulfill the role it has set for itself, Alpha Omega Alpha elects outstanding medical students, graduates, alumni, faculty, and honorary members to its ranks. It sponsors several different programs, such as: the Alpha Omega Alpha Visiting Professorships - designed to enrich the educational environment of the medical schools to which they are awarded; the Leaders in American Medicine videotape series - presenting biographical interviews with distinguished men and women in American medicine; and the society's journal, The Pharos, is published quarterly and includes nontechnical papers and regular features which address a wide variety of topics of historical, philosophic, and current interest to physicians.



Leaders in American Medicine Oral History Collection, 1970 and ongoing

Collection ID


Approx. 122 interviews

Biographical Note

Inspired by the late Drs. Beatrice C. and David E. Seegal, who were distinguished members of the faculty at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and made possible by their generous benefaction, in 1970 the society launched a program to record on videotape interviews with leading figures in American medicine.

Collection Description

Interviewed by physicians, who themselves have achieved distinction in their fields, renowned men and women of American medicine reflect on their formative years, the persons and events that influenced them, the circumstances surrounding their major contributions to medical education and medical science, and the ebb and flow that occurred in their disciplines during their careers. They are a unique resource for men and women embarking on medical careers, as well as a permanent record of many of the people who helped to shape medicine in the United States in this century.

List of Interviews relating to the history of artificial organs:

  • Denton A. Cooley, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief, Texas Heart Institute
  • Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., President and Professor of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine; interviewed by Claude H. Organ, Jr., M.D.
  • William P. Longmire, Jr., M.D., Professor of Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine; joint interview with Francis D. Moore, M.D., Elliott Carr Cutler Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • Francis D. Moore, M.D., Elliott Carr Cutler Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • Joseph E. Murray, M.D., Professor of Surgery Emeritus, Harvard Medical School; interviewed by Francis D. Moore, M.D.
  • David C. Sabiston, Jr., M.D., James B. Duke Professor of Surgery and Chairman, Department of Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine; interviewed by Paul A. Ebert, M.D.
  • Helen B. Taussig, M.D.*, Professor of Pediatrics Emerita, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; interviewed by Helen Sinclair Pittman, M.D.
  • George W. Thorn, M.D., Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic Emeritus, Harvard Medical School; interviewed by John P. Merrill, M.D.
  • Owen H. Wangensteen, M.D.*, Regents' Professor of Surgery, University of Minnesota Medical School; interviewed by K. Alvin Merendino, M.D.

Finding Aid

Listing of Interviews available on website.



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