Robert Grissom Interview and Transcript

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Robert Leslie Grissom was born in 1917. He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois (1941) and was a flight surgeon in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WWII before being recruited to be one of the first four full-time clinical faculty members at UNMC (1953). From 1956-1970, he was the first full-time chairman of the department of internal medicine. Following the chairmanship, he worked in the cardiology section, serving as acting head of the section from 1970-1972, until his retirement in 1987. He continued to teach until 2006 and routinely volunteered his time to teach first and second year medical students as a facilitator of a problem-based learning group. In 1997, Grissom became only the second physician in Nebraska to achieve mastership status in the American College of Physicians. In 1999, he received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Service to the College of Medicine.

Grissom begins his interview details how he was recruited to UNMC from the University of Illinois (1953), faculty that were also recruited at that time, his salary, budget constraints of the University and being chairman of internal medicine (1956-1970). He describes notable aspects of change while he was chairman including the ward system, cooperation with private hospitals, the growth of the campus and the close community among faculty. Grissom concludes his interview discussing the key things he believes has changed over time at UNMC: building projects caused by Nebraska sales tax and federal funding, cooperation with private hospitals, the creation of graduate programs and a focus on research.

Subject(s): Internal Medicine
Education, Medical
Grissom, Robert