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Academic Health Center Oral History Project

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Magraw, Richard

Richard Magraw.JPG Richard Magraw received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1944. After several years in private practice, he joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota's Medical School in 1950. During his tenure at the University, Dr. Magraw served as assistant dean of the College of Medical Sciences and director of the Comprehensive Clinical Program. He left the University in 1967 to serve as assistant director of the Bureau of Medical Services and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Manpower, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Interview Abstract
Richard Magraw begins with his background and education. He describes his residencies and his work history and discusses his work as assistant dean at UMN. He discusses the effect of National Institutes of Health research funding on medical education in the late 1940s and 1950s, the focus on specialization and the de-emphasis of primary care during this time. He goes on to discuss the faculty practice issue at UMN in the 1960s, the regional and national concern in the 1960s over a shortage of physicians, the national trend in the 1960s of regional health planning, the development of family practice as a specialty, his book Ferment in Medicine, and the influence on medicine of the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid- and late-1960s. He discusses the Comprehensive Clinic Program (1960-67), the relationship between the Medical School and Minnesota state legislature, the reorganization and expansion of the health sciences in the 1960s, the relationship between the Medical School and the affiliated hospitals, and the relationship among the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health within the College of Medical Sciences. He describes the attempt to establish a medical school in St. Paul, the establishment of the Department of Family Practice and Community Health, and the separation of the departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at UMN. He discusses what he did after he left the UMN, including his work in Washington, DC.

Biographical Sketch
Richard Magraw was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 2, 1919. He attended the University of Minnesota and received his B.S. in 1939 and his MD in 1944. He did his internship at Anker Hospital in St. Paul (1943) and his surgical (1944), psychiatry (1947-49), and medicine (1949-50) residencies in Minneapolis. He went into private practice at a clinic in Two Harbors from 1944-47. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1950. He worked as an Instructor (1950-52), Assistant Professor (1952-57), Associate Professor (1957-65), and Professor (1965-1968) in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Internal Medicine. He also was Assistant Dean of the College of Medical Sciences (1959-60), Director of the new Comprehensive Clinic Program in the Medical School (1960-67). From fall 1967 to spring 1968, he took a leave of absence from the University and worked in Washington, D.C., first as Assistant Director of the Bureau of Medical Services and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Manpower, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He never returned to the University of Minnesota and after his government service ended, he served as Dean of the University of Illinois Medical School (1969-73), President of Eastern Virginia Medical School (1973-78), chair of the American Medical Association's Committee of Undergraduate Education (1970-76), consultant for the Indian Health Service (1978-80), and served as the chief of medicine at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis (1980-92). In 1992, he retired but went back to teach at the UMN from 1992-97. He wrote Ferment in Medicine: A Study of the Essence of Medical Practice and of Its New Dilemmas (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1966), which was published in 1966.

Interview Transcript
RMagraw.pdf