[Oral history interview of Michael DeBakey by Donald A. Schanche (tape 7)]
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 choice of clinical practice over military medicine after World War
II; returning to Tulane; early history of Baylor medical school; moving to Houston and the many challenges of Baylor; getting
access to the VA hospital and the Jefferson Davis Charity Hospital for medical teaching; establishing residency programs;
first research labs at Baylor; using science to solve social problems; funding the early Baylor surgical program; dealing
with resistance from the local medical community; affiliation with Methodist Hospital; working with Houston philanthropists;
becoming known for vascular surgery innovation, including grafts; development of the Dacron graft, and the grateful patient
who put him in touch with textile engineers to make the knitted tube grafts.
NOTE: Page 54 missing from original.
Number of Image Pages:
95 (3,330,850 Bytes)
1972-06-15 (June 15, 1972)
DeBakey, Michael E.
Interviewer: Schanche, Donald A.
Reproduced with permission of Anne Schanche Ferro.