Buesseler, Dr John A 1997-07-29

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Dr. John A. Buesseler, the founding dean of Texas Tech’s School of Medicine, recounts the earliest days of the school. He also discusses his lengthy career in opthalmological medicine.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Dr. John A. Buesseler

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: July 29 and August 1, 1997

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Allison

Length: 3 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Buesseler, John, background, b. September 30, 1919, Madison, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin, 1937, Bachelor of Philosophy, Medical school, University of Wisconsin, 1941, Work while growing up, Great Depression, Mother's work as a cook, Newspaper boy, Summer work in pea cannery, Civil engineering camp, Learned to drive, Delivery truck driver, Greyhound bus driving in medical school, 'Best job ever', World War II, Military takes over medical schools, Death of friends on troop ship in New York harbor, German submarine, Joins army in medical school, Nation's unpreparedness, "Amateur military", Friend's death (again), German submarines (again), Completion of medical school, 1944, Interned at Cleveland City Hospital, U. S. Army, active duty, Carlyle Barracks, Pennsylvania, Training for invasion of Japan, Field medical training, Casualty forecasts, President Harry Truman and A-bomb, Soldiers' reaction, The Presidio, San Francisco, California, Hospital train commander, Troops' attitudes, Wounds, Train's facilities, Germany, post-World War II, Sixth Cavalry, Regiment

Tape 1, Side 2: Buesseler, John (continued), U. S. Army active duty (continued), German, post World War II (continued), Military government, German army and Hitler Youth, Guerilla warfare, "Adelais Pirates", Cigarettes as money, Value, Refugees from Baltic States, Fear of Russia, Ophthalmology specialization, Residency at University of Pennsylvania, Join Pennsylvania, Air National Guard, Korean War, Commander of medical group, Aircraft, Losses in combat, Attitudes of servicemen, Social chasm created by Air Force policies, Unpreparedness of military, Private practice opened, 1952, Madison, Wisconsin, University of Missouri Medical School, Chief of Ophthalmology, Early interest in ophthalmology, University of Wisconsin, University of Missouri Medical School (again)

Tape 2, Side 1: Buesseler, John (continued), University of Missouri (continued), Started department of Ophthalmology, "A Mighty Oak Has Grown", Business degree, Administrative experience, Cornell University, 1965-66, Work on Ph.D. in Business and Public Administration, Vernon E. Wilson, Dean of Medical School (University of Missouri), Medical School effect on patient base, Indigent care before Medicaid, Doctors' volunteer at county hospitals, Costs kept low, Buesseler, John (again), Executive Director of Kansas City General Hospital and Medical Center, Founding dean at Texas Tech Medical School, Suitable background, Doctors with administrative background, First successful corneal transplant in Wisconsin, Educational background, World War II effects, Transporting sick and wounded, Survival rates, Vietnam War, Helicopters, Never acquired Ph.D., Vietnam interfered, Dissertation on medivac helicopters in Vietnam, Research in Vietnam, Care for Vietnamese civilians, Aeromedical evacuation best ever in Vietnam

Tape 2, Side 2: Buesseler, John (continued), Aeromedical evacuation (continued), Texas Tech Medical School founding, Vietnam (again), Special Projects Officer Aeromedical evacuation (again), First Cavalry Division, Army Aviation area coverage system, Effectiveness, Field expediency, Combat, Jungle evacuations, Under fire, Helicopter pilot becomes medical student at Texas Tech, Texas Tech Medical School founding (again), Time pressure, Competition with University of Texas, Preston Smith's role, Buesseler, John (again), Texas Tech Medical School, Enabling legislation, New university created, Delwin Jones, H. J. 'Doc' Blanchard, Bill McAllister, Mr. Short

Tape 3, Side 1: Texas Tech Medical School (continued), Free standing university, Relationship with Texas Tech, Preston Smith's account of how school started, Forced University of Texas to support it, Additional schools requested, Veterinary and zoological schools, Allied health science, Proposal for seven campuses, Amarillo, El Paso, Odessa, Wichita Falls, Abilene, San Angelo, Grover Murray on West Texas geographical area, Division between East and West Texas "Buesseler's Line", Satellite campuses' success, 'Regional Academic Centers', West Texas' size, Buesseler, John (again), Chief Executive Officer of Health Sciences Center and Executive Vice President of Texas Tech Health, Sciences University, Texas Tech Medical School (again), Shortage go physicians, Excess of physicians, Federal funding, George Mahon speaks to President Nixon, Nixon promises $6 million, George Wallace also promised $6 million, Building costs - $50 million, Funds shortage, Partially completed

Tape 3, Side 2: Texas Tech Medical School (continued), Funds shortage (continued), Finish building later, Total costs, State political complications, Sharpstown Bank problem, Preston Smith no longer governor, Legislature threatens to kill the school, Buesseler, John prepares budget enroute to Vietnam, Starts first class to prevent killing the school, Governor Dolph Briscoe limits funds, Legislature impressed with quick start-up, Buesseler, John, Impressions of Lubbock, ca, 1970, Restaurants, "Dry" area, Faculty hiring for Texas Tech Medical School, Time a factor, No faculty first year, Effects of geography, Community doctors most of first faculty, Salem, Dr. Robert--Surgery, DeShan, Preston--OB/GYN, Community doctors and Texas Tech Medical School, Hull, Dr. Brandon, Opposition, Fear of competition, Personality, Willingness to teach, Little pay, Competency, Student did well on board exams, Doctor shortages in rural areas, Appalachia-like

Range Dates: 1919-1997

Bulk Dates: 1970-1972

Access Information

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Recording Format Notes:


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