Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Calling Dr. Kinsey

It has been uncharacteristically cool and cloudy here the past few days, but the faculty file of Dr. Joseph B. Trainer brought a little sunshine to my day.

Dr. Trainer is probably best remembered on campus these days for his work in establishing the university's student health center, which was renamed in his honor in 1993. Walkers headed into the lower level of Baird Hall, just next to Dillehunt Hall and behind the parking structure stairwell area, can still see the plaque commemorating the dedication.

Trainer worked at the Medical School here from 1949 until 1982, teaching physiology and preventive medicine, and practiced internal medicine downtown at the Portland Clinic. He was a bit of a local Dr. Kinsey: he was known as The Marriage Doctor for his work in marriage counseling, family health, and human sexuality. While Kinsey's background was in botany and entomology, Trainer's background was in zoology and parasitology. There must be something about studying primitive organisms that gives researchers great insight into human behavior...

Included with the new material on Trainer which came as part of the News & Pubs donation, there are two biographical data sheets, obviously compiled by Trainer--a bit tongue-in-cheek, I wonder whether they were meant to be handed out to students on the first day of class. Tidbits include:
Born: who isn't--but long ago enough to be of legal age and to be tired of celebrating ends of wars to end wars.
Interest in sex: consciously not until about age two, but unquestionably there must be some Freudian impressions earlier and buried deeper. This seems to persist either as a detached scientific interest, or an involved clinical interest, or as simply a personal interest.
Education: prolonged and inadequate.
Academic societies: Phi Sigma, Sigma Xi, A.O.A., Portland Academy of Medicine, Multnomah County Medical Society, Oregon State Medical Association [...] I don't know what I'm doing on all these. The lunches are highly variable but all seats are hard.
Literary work: [...] I should add that I once had the experience of being Associate Editor of a short-lived magazine, "Northwest Boating News" and wrote "Piloting Handbook of the Columbia River." I can tell you from this that "Red Light, Occult" doesn't mean a red light district in a foreign port!

1 comment:

Michele Mongrain said...

Dr Joe, as though of us who knew him well addressed him, was a second father to me. Witty, brilliantly scary, and unbeatable in hospitality, his death has left a vacuum in the world of medicine.