[Oral history interview of Michael DeBakey by Donald A. Schanche (tape 13)]
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: How blood transfusions were done before DeBakey developed his roller pump; mechanics
of the roller pump; first use of the pump for transfusion; patenting medical innovations; working with Ochsner on thoracic
surgeries, especially for lung cancer; learning to deal with surgical failures; first surgical experiences; fighting mediocrity
and error in the operating room; raising standards and making changes in the early years at Baylor; using Army funding for
early research work at Baylor; aneurysms and the challenges they present; Albert Einstein's fatal aneurysm; time as visiting
professor of surgery at Harvard.
Number of Image Pages:
101 (3,001,929 Bytes)
14-15 August 1972
DeBakey, Michael E.
Interviewer: Schanche, Donald A.
Reproduced with permission of Anne Schanche Ferro.