Ralph Snyderman Oral History Interview, 2019

Item Description

  • This oral history interview was conducted with Dr. Ralph Snyderman on July 22, 2019 by Dr. Justin Barr as part of the Dr. David Sabiston Oral History Project. During the interview, Snyderman discusses his early life; decision to become a doctor; education; how he came to Duke for his residency; leaving Duke to fulfill his service obligation during the Vietnam War at the National Institute of Health; his career at Duke as a physician scientist; leaving Duke for Genentech, an emerging leader in the field of biotechnology; coming back to Duke as chancellor at the urging of his friend, Robert Lefkowitz, who was on the search committee; working as chancellor and moving to a higher position than the department heads he worked for as a resident and faculty member; the Department of Medicine and the Department of Surgery's influence over the Private Diagnostic Clinic (PDC); changes implemented at the PDC; changes implemented at the medical center to incorporate a referral system; the Department of Community and Family Medicine (now Duke Family Medicine and Community Health); working with Sabiston on the Department of Surgery's budget; Snyderman's working relationship with Sabiston as one that was respectful, honest, and engaging; memories of the Sabiston's Christmas parties; the strengths Sabiston brought to the Department of Surgery; Walter E. Campbell's book "Foundations for Excellence" written to celebrate to 75th anniversary of the medical center; experiences with Drs. Robert Lefkowitz, Joseph Greenfield, William Anlyan, and E. Harvey Estes; remaining in contact with Sabiston after retirement and as his health declined; and other memories of Sabiston.
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