Interview, November 28, 2007

Duke University. Medical Center. Archives.
Scope and content:

This oral history interview was conducted with Dr. Frances K. Widmann on November 28, 2007 by Jessica Roseberry as part of the Women in Duke Medicine Oral History Exhibit.
Duration: 01:11:53
Frances K. Widmann discusses her background; her parents as physicians; marrying a physician; her mother as a female physician; her own interest in pathology; her work synthesizing the work of others in the "Technical Manual of the American Association of Blood Banks" and "Standards of the American Association of Blood Banks"; the importance to the field of these two volumes; medical school at Case Western Reserve; only small differences in the treatment between her and male medical students; coming to Chapel Hill in 1961 because of the availability of household help for families; being paid less than male members of the Department of Pathology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; coming to Duke in 1971; working at the Durham Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital as director of the blood bank; the relationship between the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital and Duke Hospital; the centralized nature of Durham Veterans Administration Hospital's laboratories as opposed to Duke's laboratories; running a blood bank; the necessity of testing for certain antibodies in the blood; the difference in patient population at the VA Hospital and at Duke Hospital; her residency years; household help; organizing her schedule to be with her family during her residency years; the chair of Duke's Department of Pathology gaining newfound respect for her work during his own illness; other women in the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital; the use of male-centered language in Department of Pathology at times; and the desire for medical culture to allow more freedom for non-work-related activities. The transcription of this interview was made possible by a grant from the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation. Includes 1 master CD, 1 use CD, and 1 transcript.


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