Wilson, L R Jr 1997-08-04

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Dr. Wilson, a longtime Lubbock anesthesiologist, discusses his career, changes in Lubbock medicine and important technological developments in anesthesiology and medicine.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: L.R. Wilson Jr.

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: August 04, 1997

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Allison

Length: 2 hours 50 minutes


Abstract

Tape 1, Side 1: L. R. Wilson, Jr., background, Born: Ada, Oklahoma (1934), Several moves in childhood, Father, Church of Christ preacher, Move to San Antonio, Texas (1939), Move to Tampa, Florida (1946), Father, founding president of colleges, Bartlettsville, Oklahoma and another, To Abilene Christian College after high school, To Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Interest in medicine, Sister married a medical student, Became bored with engineering as a major, People over things, Speech class as business major, Professor’s discussion of larynx, Sister’s hysterical reaction, First college attended was Central Christian (now Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Art), Father founded Florida Christian College in Tampa (Temple Terrace, Florida), Father hoped he would be a preacher, Considered his job as college president lower than preaching, Father first in family to finish high school, Eventually worked on doctorate, Not popular in Church of Christ at this time, Southwestern Medical School, "Scary" in interview, Doctors tried to humiliate, 104 students started in his class, Attrition, Dean Lackey’s welcome lecture sobering 10 women in class, Dean Lackey’s invitation to leave, Medical knowledge growth in 1940s, Lifelong learning was a must, Always tried to live up to Dean Lackey’s admonition, Decision to specialize in anesthesiology, Father (again), Raised as an orphan, Poverty, Into World War I without high school education, Unable to help him pay for med school, Wife worked, Took odd jobs in school year and worked in hospitals in summer, Operating room in St. Paul’s, Dallas, Texas, Recovery room technician, Pioneer anesthesiologists, Cardiovascular work, Comparison of nurse anesthetist with anesthesiologist, Anesthesiologists took better care of patients, Bad example of one nurse, Shoving patient on trolley into recovery room, Anesthesiologists more insightful, Knowledgeable, Influenced medical school studies, Hating ether, Job opening as Obstetrics Anesthesia Extern, Treated an anesthesiology resident, Background of nurse anesthetists training, RNs, Training program, "hands on", Weak on academics, Critical nature of work, must be able to think, Knowledge essential part of work, Anesthesiology as a specialty, 1840s, first successful anesthesiology, Use of ether, Little training in its use.

Tape 1, Side 2: Anesthesiology as a specialty (continued), Mortality rate earlier, Drugs and experimentation, Surgeons demand better anesthesiology, Became specialty in 1930s, Slow growth until last 20 years, Advances in anesthesiology, Endotracheal tubes to prevent vomiting, Nurse anesthetist dangerous in performing endotracheotomy, Monitors, Methodist Hospital had coronary care unit (1966), Few in the nation, Anesthesiology training in Dallas, Parkland Hospital, Few cardiac monitors, Taught to use senses, Pulse, Stethoscope, Use of oscilloscope, Learning to read patient without help, Information overload, Importance of patient over equipment, Dr. George Beck, Lubbock anesthesiologist, Bought the ‘torpedo’ (oscilloscope), Foresight, Lubbock medicine in the forefront, Methodist Hospital administration bought, oscilloscopes for all operating rooms, Oxygen Saturation Monitors, Early models, Usefulness, Saved more lives than any other monitor, Carbon dioxide monitor (Entitle CO2), Description, usefulness, Developed within last 10 years, Innovations Wilson and his partner Dr. Randy Hickle have made, Ultrasound to monitor heart, Transesophogal echo cardioscope, Importance of monitoring heart, Background on ultrasound, Conference at Atlanta, Georgia, Heart surgery in Lubbock stimulated interest, Became standard, Spread to private practice, Fourth in the state to use it, Description of early units, Size, Possibility of 3-dimensional.

Tape 2, Side 1: Advances in anesthesiology (continued), Innovations by Wilson and Hickle (continued), Ultrasound (continued), Sophisticated electronics, Future use, 3 dimensional views, Awareness monitors (Bispectral index), Usefulness, Allows for less anesthetics, Evasive monitors, Flow Directed Balloon catheters, (Swan-Gann Catheter), To Lubbock (1978), L. R. Wilson (again), After medical school interned with U. S. Air Force, William Beaumont Hospital, El Paso, Texas, Description, Work in delivery ward, Distance between buildings, C-sections, Flight surgeon with Strategic Air Command, (SAC), 1959-64, Sobering experience of being anesthesiologist, Patient’s life in your hands, Scary, Time in USAF allowed time to reflect on career, Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), All base activities shut down, Pease AFB, New Hampshire, Effect on airmen, His mission on tanker aircraft, Pride in SAC, Worried that President Kennedy was not man enough to stick by his guns, Specialty training at Parkland Hospital (again), Trauma work (Emergency room), Training, Description of Emergency Room and care given, Well prepared for Lubbock, Heart stabbings.

Tape 2, Side 2: L. R. Wilson (continued), Perspective on General Curtis LeMay, Characteristics, Influence on SAC, ‘Dining-In’ at Offutt Air Force Base, Ceremony, Drinking, Why moved to Lubbock, Better for raising children, Lubbock Anesthesiology Associates, Practiced at any hospital, Community hospitals, Surgery was ‘scary’ there, Inadequate facilities, Essential tools, New anesthesiologists unable to practice without high tech equipment, Patients forgotten, Community hospitals (again), Anesthesiologists tried to discourage surgery there, Surgeons saw it as their duty, "Great Healers", Example of a vascular surgeon, High mortality rate, By 1970-72 most surgeries stopped, Ambulance transportation better, Changes in Lubbock (c. 1966), Wonderful people, Morals, Friendliness, State of medical care, Some surgeons still operating without formal training, Dr. Krueger, Heart attack while in surgery, Pioneer doctors who saw need for medical, specialization, Dr. Krueger (again), Deciding specializations for his doctors, First wave of true specialists, Dr. Robert Salem, surgery, Dr. Ratcliff, orthopedics, Dr. Lee Hewitt, urology, Dr. Jack Dunn and Evans, neurosurgery, Nurse anesthetists replaced at Methodist Hospital, Texas Tech Medical School, Doctors felt they could contribute, Lubbock medicine more advanced that what offered at medical school, Vision of pioneer Lubbock doctors, World War II impetus toward specialization.

Tape 3, Side 1: Specialization in Lubbock, Ahead of more prominent cities, Geographical influence, Texas Tech Medical School (again), Town/gown conflict, Doctors who wanted medical school, Many doctors neutral, Primary care physicians most threatened, Public relations effort offensive to local doctors, "Provide primary care", Threat to surgeons and anesthesiologists, No perceived shortage, Only in small towns, Good for community, Question whether these is adequate patient base, Medicare/Medicaid, Impact on patient load, Before Medicare/Medicaid, caring for indigents, No one turned away, Medicare attractive now as doctors could get paid, Government wants something in return, Threatens socialized medicine, L. R. Wilson, first experience with it, Indigents cared for at all hospitals, Politics was sole impetus for it, Power over people, Not needed for indigent care, Texas Tech Medical School (again), Graduates positive impact on medicine, Lubbock’s reputation as a regional medical center, Equal to or better than any other city, People of high quality, Abortion, L. R. Wilson views, Impetus is for convenience of parent, Results of /Roe v Wade/, Stemmed from "God is Dead" ideology, Danger of euthanasia, Twice asked to anesthetize women for abortion, State school in Dallas, In Lubbock, Woman did not want one, Doctors had not done adequate analysis, Attempting to talk Dr. Pete Hudgins out of proceeding, Confrontation in operating room.

Tape 3, Side 2: L. R. Wilson (continued), Stopping abortion, Woman eventually had 6 children, Hospital’s policies, Never done at St. Mary’s, Rarely done at Methodist (only therapeutic), Common at some hospitals and with some doctors, Coronary surgery, Heart/lung machine, Doctors used at St. Paul’s Hospital in Dallas (c.1950s), Set-up in garage, Experimented on animals, Parkland Hospital (1964), Surgeon did lung transplant on a chimpanzee, Mortality rates, early, In Lubbock, Dr. Robert Salem asked if Dr. Wilson, would anesthetize for heart surgery, Initial reluctance, heart surgeons considered "killers", L. R. Wilson visit to Dr. Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley to investigate Dr. Don Bricker, L. R. Wilson practice with Dr. Bricker, First heart surgery performed in Lubbock (1970-1971), About 1100 done in Lubbock each year now, Other types of heart surgery, Mostly by-passes, very routine, Dangers involved, Anesthesiology considerations, Team concept: anesthesiologist and surgeon, Lubbock’s reputation as a heart center, Private practice compared to Texas Tech Medical School, Politics a negative influence at Med School, Surgical teams less cooperative, Dr. Bricker (again), Future of Lubbock medicine, Negative effects of managed care, Medicare/Medicaid, Effect on costs, Politicians making medical care decisions, Foreign doctors, Questionable moral background with non-Christian influence, U. S. Congress, Taxation policies, Surplus of doctors, Anesthesiologists and others.

Range Dates: 1934-1997

Bulk Dates: 1960s


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