[Oral history interview of Michael DeBakey by Donald A. Schanche (tape 4)]
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: DeBakey's training in France with Rene Leriche and in Germany with Martin Kirschner;
contrasts between the two clinics; witnessing the growing Nazi movement in Germany, including forced sterilization; meeting
with Dr. Ferdinand Sauerbruch; his preference for academic medicine over private practice; his brother Ernest's accidental
burn in 1936, and help from Ochsner and Dr. Mims Gage; joining the surgical consultants group in World War II; the housing
shortage in Washington, DC in late 1942; Experiences with Dr. Fred Rankin; Wartime work with the Army Surgeon General's
office; growing awareness of the role of government, and also of the amount of inefficiency in the military and government
Number of Image Pages:
60 (2,143,000 Bytes)
1972-03-06 (March 6, 1972)
DeBakey, Michael E.
Interviewer: Schanche, Donald A.
Reproduced with permission of Anne Schanche Ferro.