Interview, May 24, 2007

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

This oral history interview was conducted with Joanne A. P. Wilson on May 24, 2007 by Jessica Roseberry as part of the Women in Duke Medicine Oral History Exhibit.
Duration: 02:03:39
Dr. Joanne A. P. Wilson discusses the importance of recognizing history; her own background; parochial school; being an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; medical school at Duke; house staff training at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital; being a woman and minority in some of these situations; her faculty position at the University of Michigan; the new maternity leave policy at Michigan; the lack of adjustment on the tenure clock for faculty having children at Michigan; her return to Duke in 1986; being among the first wave of African-Americans to graduate from Duke Medical School; working a summer program at Duke in the 1970s to help disadvantaged students become interested in medicine; the lack of North Carolinians at Duke; her community service work during medical school; her medical school class's interest in community service work and in activism; her own children's community service work; her current community service work; the spirit of activism on campus (during her medical school years) as opposed to an earlier spirit of unrest; her treatment as an African-American as a medical student; the importance of expecting excellence of young people; assumptions made when people do see African-American role models in medicine; attracting attention as one of the few African-American medical students; the increase in the number of African-American medical students upon her return to the faculty in 1986; the slow nature of medicine to change due to length of schooling; Dr. Grace Kerby; being the second female in the department to be appointed a full professor, after Grace Kerby; Dr. Charles Johnson, early African-American faculty member; her field of gastroenterology; the few numbers of women in the specialty when she began; changes in this trend; common conditions in gastroenterology; patients who stand out in her mind; her enjoyment of the field; seeing patients over time; her husband staying at the VA Hospital over time; balancing family life; the importance of working towards this balance; creative ways she and her family have achieved this balance; her children's activities and accomplishments; managing over commitment; the importance of being an example to young people; her daughter finding some of the difficulties of volunteerism in complicated situations; her research in the past; her lack of time currently to do research; clinical research studies; her strong science background being a help in clinical research studies; the importance of understanding the clinical significance of statistical findings; the enjoyment of, but less time to do, teaching at Duke; being awarded the Trailblazers Award from the Student National Medical Association; her impact on the medical center; the desire that anyone can have access to medical education; her efforts to stress the importance of nondiscrimination; medical school dean Sanders Williams's actions to get more women and minority medical students at Duke; the importance of reaching children early; the importance of algebra; other women at Duke; the importance of receiving mentorship from other places if you don't see people who look like you around you; her inspiration coming from female family members; the male doctors who helped her; and the project for which the Duke Medicine Archives is interviewing her. The transcription of this interview was made possible by a grant from the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation. Includes 2 master CDs, 2 use CDs, and 1 transcript.


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