Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Transcript: Grossman on medicine and politics

We've just received back from the transcriptionist the complete oral history interview with Dr. Charles M. Grossman, M.D. Readers of the earlier posts on Dr. Grossman will recall that he's very interested in politics, and was once called a "professional rabble-rouser" by another Portland rabble-rouser, Tom McCall. (Grossman only objected to the "professional" part, since he wasn't getting paid a dime for it.)

The following excerpt nicely illustrates Grossman's style and that of his interviewer, Dr. Ralph Crawshaw, M.D.:
CRAWSHAW: Of course we do. Now you've got me on your side and I'm cheering you on. And that isn't the point. What happened when HUAC came to town?

GROSSMAN: HUAC?

CRAWSHAW: HUAC.

GROSSMAN: The HUAC, the House Unamerican Activities Committee? Well, I don’t know if I mentioned earlier, I was pretty sure that the reason that Hod Lewis did not sign my reapplication was that he was afraid that I would be subpoenaed by the House Unamerican Activities Committee when they came. And that would give the Medical School a bad name, because here they have a radical up at the Medical School that the House Unamerican Activities Committee is going to call. Well, I never made the grade. I was never subpoenaed. I felt I was left out. But if that was the reason for my being fired, it was obviously the wrong reason. I wasn't making any money. No pay. I said being fired, but it was–

CRAWSHAW: No, you were being fired. You were being ostracized–

GROSSMAN: I was being fired from a nonpaying job.

CRAWSHAW: –ostracized socially, politically and professionally. Yeah. So it had a lasting effect on you. It excluded you from, theoretically, the proper resources.

GROSSMAN: I never became a golf playing doctor, that's all.
The full transcript will shortly be available upon request.

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