El Paso Medical History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Gordon McGee was a former President of the Texas Medical Association; he was born in Fort Worth, TX in 1933; and moved to Washington D.C. in 1940, he ended up in Evanston, IL and attended Evanston Township High School; he eventually moved back to Texas in 1951 and decided to be a physician and graduated from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1958.
Summary of Interview
He describes residency in internal medicine, due to his absences from family went into pathology; he recalls moving to El Paso in 1965 to work at Southwestern General Hospital; he explains how he met his wife, describes three children; he recounts President Kennedy being brought to his hospital in Dallas when he was shot, his opinions on his medical care. Dr. McGee discusses his early involvement with the TMA; he reveals origin and breakup of the Rainbow Group, combined pathologists and radiologists in El Paso; he mentions working with his partner in their laboratory business and goes over time as President of the El Paso County Medical Society; he discusses the controversy surrounding efforts to admit black physicians into the TMA, covers his leadership; he explains qualifications to join and their accomplishments improving health care; he reveals that physicians that struggled financially benefited when Medicare went into effect; he gives opinion on physician’s refusal to treat non-pay patients. He recounts the first for profit medical centers in El Paso; he gives the history of Sun Towers Hospital, Sierra and Columbia Medical Centers; discusses the pros and cons of the American Medical Association; recounts the creation of the Texas Tech Medical School in El Paso and issues with its organization; he explains difficulty of setting standards of medical schools, he measures taken to increase physician competency; he discloses that Medicare created the need for dedicated emergency doctors, describes how Hotel Du Catholic Hospital closed due to this; he admits his business increased with Medicare. Dr. McGee remembers various El Paso County Medical Society Administrators; he reveals that from the 1940s to 1960s El Paso was the dominant medical treatment area for the Southwest.
Date of Interview
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Gordon McGee by Barbara Dent, 1998, "Interview No. 1627," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.