Kathleen Clem Oral History Interview, 2007

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  • Dr. Kathleen Clem discusses her desire to become an emergency physician; her background as a nurse; her family background; Loma Linda University; starting one of the first international emergency medical fellowships in the country (at Loma Linda); coming to North Carolina; her desire to improve Duke's Division of Emergency Medicine; becoming division chief of Emergency Medicine; having to fire many of the current faculty in the division to ensure the division was staffed by personnel trained to higher standards; recruiting new faculty; the development of the residency program in the division as crucial and her achievement of that goal in 1993; completely renovating the division's physical space; her goals in renovating the space; women's often circuitous careers; her own circuitous career; the importance of embracing the diversity of career experiences; Duke's support of her career path; the difficulties of being a female leader of the Division of Emergency Medicine within the male-dominated Department of Surgery; doing things that were "uniquely feminine"; changing the culture in Emergency Medicine; impacting the Department of Surgery; overcoming the difficulties of being a female leader; maintaining her integrity; her hard work to get changes made to the division; her allies; the female surgeons in the department; the types of patients who access emergency medicine at Duke; overcrowding in emergency departments; Duke's renovation and expansion as part of the solution to overcrowding; the state of Division of Emergency Medicine when she first arrived; educating Duke about what emergency medicine physicians are supposed to do; the role of emergency medicine physicians; why Emergency Medicine is currently a division and not a department, as she would hope it would be; the percentage of her time spent as administrator and career sacrifices she made to be an administrator; the Faculty Women's Committee; topics the committee has dealt with; the women at Duke who inspire her; the exhibit honoring women undertaken by Faculty Women's Committee; other women; embracing the circuitous career paths of women within her division; why women have more circuitous career paths; importance of mentorship; her past and current mentors; her own methods of balancing work and family; the change in culture at Duke in support of families; the differences between nurses and physicians in emergency medicine; collaboration with nursing; the issues of patient flow in emergency medicine; the rapid nature of decision-making in emergency medicine; her book, "Emergent Field Medicine"; and the current state of the Division of Emergency Medicine. The transcription of this interview was made possible by a grant from the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation.
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  • Kathleen Clem Oral History Interview
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