[Oral history interview of Michael DeBakey by Donald A. Schanche (tape 3)]
In 1972, journalist Donald A. Schanche (1926-1994) conducted a series of interviews with DeBakey as part of his research for
a planned biography. Schanche worked on the project for several years, but the book was never completed. Several letters in
the NLM DeBakey Papers indicate that Schanche, though a talented, experienced writer and editor, had difficulty drafting DeBakey's
life story because of the sheer number and variety of DeBakey's interests and achievements. In 1976, Schanche joined the
Foreign Division of the Los Angeles Times, and moved to Cairo. It appears that neither he nor DeBakey were able to follow
up with the biography.
Topics covered in this interview include: The influence of DeBakey's biology professor at Tulane; working in the biology
lab as assistant and instructor; catching snakes for lab dissection exercises; other activities at college, including music
and sports; early experience with his mentor Dr. Alton Ochsner; development of his roller pump, and growing interest in problems
of circulation; the influence of Dr. Rudolph Matas; working with Ochsner on the connections between smoking and lung cancer;
the development of vascular surgery during the 1950s and 1960s and the role of heart-lung machines; Ochsner's example
in treating patients with compassion, and providing free medical care to teachers and clergy; learning to write well; writing
articles with Ochsner; Ochsner's teaching techniques; Leriche's teaching style.
Number of Image Pages:
91 (3,051,994 Bytes)
1972-03-06 (March 6, 1972)
DeBakey, Michael E.
Interviewer: Schanche, Donald A.
Reproduced with permission of Anne Schanche Ferro.