Oral Histories

Interview of William P. Longmire

UCLA professor of surgery.
Creating the Department of Surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine
Interviews not in a series, part one
UCLA and University of California History
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA Faculty
Biographical Note:
UCLA professor of surgery.
Galm, Bernard
Longmire, William P.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Family history; the town of Sapulpa, Oklahoma; attends University of Oklahoma; influence of father, William Polk Longmire, on career choice; admission into Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; arrival in Baltimore; anatomy class; first- and second-year curriculum at Johns Hopkins; internal organization of Johns Hopkins; interest in neuro-surgery; third- and fourth-year curriculum; internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital; structure of residency program at Johns Hopkins; goes home to Sapulpa to take over father's practice; medical school education and preparation for running a general practice; appointment terminated at Johns Hopkins; effect of World War II on personal plans; medical-disability deferment; returns to Johns Hopkins Hospital staff; appointment of Alfred Blalock at Johns Hopkins; the Blalock-Taussig "blue-baby" operation; Longmire's personal and professional relationship with Blalock; assigned to plastic-surgery service; developing the surgery service at Johns Hopkins; W. Harry Muller, Jr.; tissue and organ transplantation; academic position at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; approached by Harvard University for professor of surgery position; approached by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; the Mayo Clinic surgical program; the evolution of the Texas Medical Center; the M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute; contact with UCLA; trip to Los Angeles for UCLA interview; plans for the UCLA School of Medicine; discussion with Blalock about possible move to UCLA; appointment to Wads-worth Veterans Administration Hospital as chief of surgery; John Lawrence; bringing board-certified people into the Veterans Administration system; Longmire's plan for the Department of Surgery; faculty wives' adjustment to moving; arrival in Los Angeles; physical layout of the Department of Surgery in its temporary quarters; design of the operating suite; Muller joins the UCLA Department of Surgery; John M. Beal; resistance to Longmire's plans from local doctors and hospital administrators; controversy over appointment of Muller as chief of thoracic service at Los Angeles County Harbor Hospital; cardiac surgery transferred to St. John's Hospital; active laboratory research program at UCLA; revamping medical service of the Veterans Administration; Wiley Barker at Wadsworth Hospital and UCLA; Frank C. Spencer; Willard E. Goodwin; W. Eugene Stern; Elmer Belt's role in establishing the UCLA medical school; Stafford L. Warren consulted in staff selection; "Cocoa Club" monthly meetings with individual division chiefs; appointment of Stern; Joel J. Pressman appointment; Pressman as head of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery; Pressman's illness and death; Paul H. Ward succeeds Pressman; John Dillon as chief of anesthesiology; Divisions of Ophthalmology and Anesthesiology become departments; Franklin Ashley as chief of plastic surgery; evolution of field of plastic surgery; James V. Maloney, Jr., appointed chief of thoracic surgery; history of early cardiac surgery; Maloney and Donald G. Mulder; appointment of Bradley R. Straatsma; the Division of Pediatric Surgery; trips to Germany; surgery