Doris Howell Oral History Interview, 2007

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  • Dr. Doris Howell discusses her early background; medical school at McGill University; positive treatment in medical school; her initial desire to go into the field of psychiatry; her choice to go into pediatrics; the characterization of pediatric work; her internship at Children's Memorial Hospital in Montreal, Canada; her residency at Duke; the difference between styles of training in Canada and the United States; her more rigid style due to Canadian training; Dr. Bill DeMaria convincing her to change her style; her fellowship at Harvard with Dr. Lou Diamond; her field of pediatric hematology; the large numbers of leukemia patients in her work at Duke; growing the division to take care of these patients; being the only trained pediatric hematologist between Washington, New Orleans, and Miami; the immense patient load; training residents and fellows; many fellows being Middle Eastern; becoming the chair of Pediatrics at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania; being concerned about all-women's medical college; Dr. Susan Dees as a role model; pediatrics as a field easier for women to enter during her time; her positive treatment at Duke; awards; convincing the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania to become coeducational; being only female chair of pediatrics nationally; working briefly at the Association of American Medical Colleges; becoming the temporary chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego; the difficulty of being a chair in a field you have not trained in; her return to the field of pediatrics; the development of San Diego Hospice; San Diego Hospice as being an all-purpose hospice for all ages; staying involved; building a research fund for women's health; the difference between women's health issues and men's health issues; her working philosophy; not having biological children but caring for her patients; being engaged several times but being a female physician as complicating the relationships; her decision to stay single and commit her time to pediatric care; her advice to young female medical students; and her contentment with the life she has led. The transcription of this interview was made possible by a grant from the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation.
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