Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Shirley Lewis Barron, March 4, 2016

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Discovering her love for science

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Partial Transcript: Hello, it's March 4th, 2016 and I'm Karen Clancy.

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses what it was like for her growing up in Lexington, Kentucky and the events that sparked her interest in science. She talks about her education in terms of her secondary and post-secondary experiences, as well as the huge decision to apply for medical school at the newly founded University of Kentucky medical school.

Keywords: Arlington Elementary School; Art teachers; Astronauts; Bryan Station Elementary School; Castlewood Park; Chemistry; Colleges; Comparative anatomy; Courses; Critters; Electronics; Elementary schools; Girls Scouts; Ham radio operators; Latin; Male teachers; Master's thesis; Medical degrees; Medical schools; Men teachers; Middle schools; Missionary work; Money; Mothers; Nature; Neighborhoods; Physics; Religious studies; Science; Science teachers; Scientists; Siblings; Supportive; Teaching; Teenagers; Test pilots; Tomboys; University of Kentucky; University of Louisville; Wheaton College

Subjects: Careers; Childhood; Education; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.); Louisville (Ky.); Teachers; University of Kentucky. College of Medicine

00:08:38 - Her medical school experience

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Partial Transcript: Um, so, after you got your master's--or as you were finishing up and you decided you were going to apply to UK med school, do you remember how long it took before you got a decision, or?

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses the classes that she took in medical school as well as how she got along with her fellow classmates. She also talks briefly about the clerkships that every medical student has to participate in their junior and senior year of medical school.

Keywords: Activities; Anatomy; Anatomy department; Bars; Biochemistry; Cars; Chemistry labs; Classes; Clerkships; Dissection; Distracting; Dr. Roy Jarecky; Fuss; Interviews; Lab assistants; Letters; Library; Medical centers; Medical schools; Medicine; Microscopes; Missionaries; Pediatrics; Physiology; Sociable; Specimens; Students; Studying; Summer work; Surgery; University of Kentucky; Voluntary; Wheaton College; X-rays

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Medical education; University of Kentucky. College of Medicine; Women physicians.

00:18:30 - Finding her path to pathology

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Partial Transcript: --clerkships. Which one was your favorite?

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses her time spent doing a surgical residency with Dr. Ben Heisman at the University of Kentucky until he moved away and in facing a new mentor, she realized she was not cut out to perform surgery. She talks about finding pathology and how it appeals to her love for anatomy.

Keywords: Anatomic pathology; Chief residents; Competitive; Decisions; Dr. Ben Heisman; Husbands; Internships; Lacerations; Pathology; Plastic surgeons; Postmortem examinations; Residency; Residents; Surgeons; Surgery; Surgical pyramid; Surgical residency; University of Colorado; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Medical education; Medicine.; Physicians (General practice); University of Kentucky. Medical Center; Women physicians.

00:22:10 - Medical school clerkships

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Partial Transcript: Okay, do you remember any of the clerkships that maybe you didn't like, or?

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses what it was like participating in clerkships during medical school, which were 1-3 month stints in different areas of medicine to get a feel for what they would like to pursue during their residency. She talks about her experiences during the community medicine part of her training, as well as meeting future astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave.

Keywords: Astronauts; Clerkships; Community medicine; Dr. C. VanArsdall; Dr. Story Musgrave; Eastern Kentucky; Faculty; Fayette County Health Department; Neurology; Patients; Pediatrics; Posterior presentation delivery; Private physicians; Red Bird Mission; Space programs

Subjects: Harrodsburg (Ky.); Medical education; University of Kentucky. College of Medicine; Women in medicine; Women physicians.

00:27:14 - Being a woman in medical school / Winning the Albert B. Chandler Award

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Partial Transcript: So, how many women were in your class?

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses whether or not the women in her medical school class faced any hardships for being women, as well as whether or not their male counterparts were supportive of them. She also talks about winning the Albert B. Chandler Award for being an outstanding medical student.

Keywords: Albert B. Chandler Award; Alpha Omega Alpha; Anatomy department; Baccalaureate programs; Bars; Challenging; Comfortable; Condescending; Degrees; Difficult; Faculty; Female colleagues; Graduate schools; Hard work; Honors; Imposter syndrome; Medical schools; Mentors; Outstanding; Recognition; Role models; Serious; Studious; Summer; Teasing; Top of the class; Women students

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Medical education; University of Kentucky. College of Medicine; University of Kentucky. Medical Center; Women physicians.

00:35:34 - Her internship at the University of Vermont

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Partial Transcript: So, then, you did the surgical--well, you did your internship first and you did that at the University of Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses how she made the decision to go to the University of Vermont for her medical internship. She also talks about how she met her husband there and them getting married, as well as the other people that were married in her original medical school class.

Keywords: Bridesmaids; Dr. Ben Heisman; Dr. Jackie Noonan; Emergency rooms; Humanities; Internal medicine; Internships; Medical schools; Medical students; Pre-med students; Psychiatry; Residency; Rotations; Sciences; Shirley Moore; Student American Medical Association; Surgery; Trips; University of Kentucky; University of Vermont; Wheaton College; Wives Club

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Internships; Marriage; Medical education; Medicine.; Women physicians.

00:40:23 - Her realization about surgery

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Partial Transcript: Okay, let me ask you a couple more questions about your undergrad.

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses the hierarchy concerning the interns and clerks, as well as the opportunities she had to travel to different hospitals around the country as a medical student. She mentions that these opportunities, as well as the absence of Dr. Ben Heisman, is why she chose to abandon surgery and take on pathology.

Keywords: Available; Clerkships; Dr. Ben Heisman; Dr. Charlie Wilson; Electives; Facilities; GYN surgery; Gastric secretions; Graduation; Hospitals; IVs; Instructors; Intense; Interns; Internships; Medical students; Methodist hospitals; Nurses; Pathology departments; Referrals; Research labs; Residents; Rotations; Senior year; Sense of humor; Stunt work; Surgery; University of Colorado; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Medical education; University of Kentucky. College of Medicine; University of Kentucky. Medical Center; Women physicians.

00:47:58 - Her professional career

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Partial Transcript: And so, at what point, then, after you--I mean, was it during med school, was it during the internship, or the residency, or was it afterwards, at what point do you remember--or do you remember...

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses her professional activities after she finished her medical training. She talks about her jobs working as an instructor for the University of Kentucky's pathology department, as well as her jobs working with a family planning council, a woman's health league, a plasma center, and as a practicing physician in her own private practice.

Keywords: Arguments; Autopsies; Available; Bluegrass Regional Birth Planning Council; Computers; Daughters; Department of pathology; Doctors; Faculty members; Family planning; Government regulations; Health departments; Husbands; Instructors; Interesting; Internal medicine; Internships; Med-tech classes; Medical directors; Microscopes; Military drafts; Mountain Maternal Health League; Narcotics hospitals; OB-GYN; Offers; Ophthalmologists; Parent company; Part-time; Patients; Plasma centers; Podiatrists; Profits; Public health services; Residency; Student labs; Surgeons; University of Kentucky; Women's health

Subjects: Medical offices.; Medicine.; Physicians (General practice); Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Women in medicine; Women physicians.

00:59:19 - Balancing family life and a career

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Partial Transcript: So, how have you balanced family life with your children--you had children--with marriage--how have you balanced that with your professional career?

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses how she handled having a family and working in the medical field. She also talks about how her salary is set up and the opportunities for women in the medical field.

Keywords: Babysitting; Children; Choices; Drop out; Family life; Flex time; Flexibility; Hourly; Husbands; Ideal; Intervals; Lady; Maximum; Medical education; Opportunities; Programs; Reasonable; Retainers; Salary; Schedules; Schools; State Board of Health; State employees; Work

Subjects: Careers; Families.; Marriage; Medicine.; Women in medicine; Women physicians.

01:03:21 - The family clinic

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Partial Transcript: Where are you working now with the health departments?

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses the Anderson County, Kentucky family clinic that she assisted in setting up after the private primary providers in the county stopped accepting Medicaid and Medicare insurance.

Keywords: Administrators; Advice; Family clinic; Health departments; Innovative ideas; Inquiries; Knowledgeable; Medicaid; Medical community; Medical schools; Medicare; Nurse practitioners; Operations; Patients; Pilot programs; Presentations; Primary providers; Programs; Walk-ins

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Family medicine.; Lincoln County (Ky.); Women in medicine; Women physicians.

01:06:32 - Her recreational activities

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Partial Transcript: What's some of the other things that you do with your life?

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses what she enjoys doing in her free time, including music and racket ball. She also talks about her recent illness and her current status in private practice.

Keywords: "The New Testament in Everyday Language"; Adult daycares; Age groups; Bass; Cello; Cerebellum; Churches; Classes; Classical interpretations; Farmer's markets; Fiddle; Fitness activities; Follow-up; Gold medals; Growth groups; MRI; Miraculous; Neurosurgeon; Prayer groups; Private patients; Racket ball; Radiation treatments; Summer; Surgeries; Tommy & Friends; Translations; Uterine cancer; Verse; Veteran's hospitals; Viola

Subjects: Health; Illness; Recreation; Women in medicine; Women physicians.

01:13:26 - Highlights of her career

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Partial Transcript: Well, in thinking about your career--a, and you've had a wonderful career with lots of choices.

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses some of the cases that she considers to be the highlights of her career as a practicing physician.

Keywords: Cosmetic jobs; Diaphragms; Discourage; Elderly; Finger nails; Hands; Health departments; Highlights; Hispanic family; IUDs; Instruments; Intoxicated; Irregular; Lacerations; Local anesthetic; Medical services; Noses; Painless; Patients; Sixth digit; Stitches; Stoic; Strange; Surgery; Unusual

Subjects: Careers; Medicine.; Physician and patient.; Physicians (General practice); Women in medicine; Women physicians.

01:18:24 - Women in medicine and primary care providers

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you one question about women coming into medicine.

Segment Synopsis: Barron discusses her generation opening the door for female medical students and breaking the status quo, so that future students could pursue a career in medicine without hindrance. She also talks about the extreme need for primary care providers, and the restrictions that an expensive medical education puts on students.

Keywords: 'A little drop in the bucket'; Acceptance; Debts; Expensive; Flirting; Forerunners; Gender details; Generations; Human beings; Influences; Mannerisms; Medical schools; Money; Osteopathic medical schools; Pediatrics; Primary care; Primary providers; Primary work; Professional areas; Professional situations; Recommendations; Shame; Students; Sub-specialists; Suggestions; University of Kentucky; Women medical students

Subjects: Medical education; Physicians (General practice); University of Kentucky. College of Medicine; Women in medicine; Women physicians.

01:30:00 - Her advice for educators

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Partial Transcript: So, um, I'm an educator and I teach college students.

Segment Synopsis: Barron gives advice for educators, specifically towards medical school professors, and talks about the need for substance abuse education for medical students.

Keywords: Academics; Advisors; Alcohol abuse; Alcoholics; Bell curve; College students; Counselors; Damage; Detoxing; Disease; Doctors; Drinking; Drug addicts; Educational programs; Educators; Faculty; Help; Heroin addicts; Hospitals; Humanities; Information; Internal medicine; Intoxication; Knowledgeable; Liver failure; Medical schools; Narcotics hospitals; Pre-med; Primary providers; Private patients; Science; Substance abuse; Suggestions; Training; Undergraduates; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Alcoholism; Drug abuse; Drug addiction; Education; Teachers

01:36:29 - Her gratitude regarding her career

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Partial Transcript: Well, we're getting close to wrapping up.

Segment Synopsis: Barron talks about her gratitude towards her education, which allowed her to have a family and not stretch herself out thin throughout her life. She also discusses how doctors are supposed to be teachers as well as medical doctors.

Keywords: Cancer; Children; Choices; Colleagues; Decisions; Diet; Education; Fitness; Fitness activities; Glad; Health departments; Healthy life; Latin teachers; Life; Medical training; Music; Patch work; Patients; Prescriptions; Shame; Teaching; Women doctors; Working out

Subjects: Careers; Medicine.; Women in medicine; Women physicians.