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
Length of Interview
Listen to the Interview
Interview with Gordon McGee by Barbara Dent, 1998, "Interview No. 1627," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.