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A passion for their profession

Medical School alumni Drs. Michael Carey and Betty Oseid support University research in pediatrics and neurosurgery through both current use and estate gifts.

Couple’s planned gift benefits pediatrics, neurosurgery

Over 48 years of marriage, Drs. Betty Oseid and Michael E. Carey have shared a stimulating and fulfilling life — one that’s included three children and six grandchildren, two wartime deployments, leading-edge research, and Medals of Valor for each of them.

The University of Minnesota brought the Careys (Betty uses Oseid professionally) together. And by giving back, the couple has helped to ensure a healthier future for others.

Beginning their careers at the U

Betty and Michael met in 1960, when both were starting their residency training at the University. Bemidji native Betty Oseid had just graduated from the Medical School and was a first-year pediatrics resident.

“It was an exciting time to be in medicine, an era of great advances,” she says, citing the development of polio vaccines, promising new leukemia treatments, and surgical repair of congenital heart defects.

Mike Carey, fresh out of Cornell University’s Medical College, was in Minnesota to begin his surgical internship and residency before tackling five more years of training in the University’s Department of Neurosurgery.

Their grueling schedules actually brought them together. “We were often both on call,” Betty explains, “so we’d get together for a soft drink and talk.”

Military service sparks brain trauma research

Two years after they met, the Careys married, started a family and, following Mike’s training, moved to Hartford, Connecticut, for private practice. A year later, Mike was called to serve as chief of an Army neurosurgical “K team” in Vietnam.

Mike returned in 1969 and soon joined the neurosurgery department at Louisiana State University Medical School in New A passion for their profession Couple’s planned gift benefits pediatrics, neurosurgery Orleans, where he conducted research to improve treatment for nonlethal brain wounds.

In 2006, after the hospitals in New Orleans were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, he retired from LSU to become chief of neurosurgery at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System in Manhattan. He stepped down in September to write a book on the history of wartime surgery.

Following his return from Vietnam, Mike had joined the Army Reserves as a colonel and served as a neurosurgeon in several Army hospitals, including one in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. In 2008 he was sent to Ramadi, Iraq.

Over the years, Betty worked at various medical positions, serving on the University of Connecticut pediatrics department staff and in public health clinics in El Paso, Texas, and New Orleans, where she joined LSU’s pediatrics department. The couple’s children — T om, Elizabeth, and Sarah — kept her busy as well.

Meanwhile, Betty’s support proved invaluable when radical animal-rights activists targeted Mike’s brain trauma research. For standing firm, even in the face of death threats, Mike and Betty each received a Medal of Valor from the American Medical Association.

Giving back to support research

For decades, the Careys have supported the University’s work in pediatrics and neurosurgery through the Minnesota Medical Foundation (MMF). In 2000, for example, they made a major pledge to help establish the Shelley N. and Jolene J. Chou Chair in Neurosurgery.

As part of their retirement planning, the couple also created three deferred payment charitable gift annuities that will benefit the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurosurgery; in the meantime, MMF will make regular payments to the Careys during their lifetimes.

“The medical field is vast and fastmoving. It’s important that researchers can use money the way they feel is best,” says Mike, discussing their support.

“Being able to find answers to medical questions is valuable,” adds Betty, pointing to University legends Robert Good, M.D., Ph.D., and C. Walton Lillehei, M.D., Ph.D., as stellar researchers. “Everyone benefited from their inventiveness. It’s so important to help, to provide the wherewithal to address the questions.”

By Karin Miller

Learn more by contacting the Minnesota Medical Foundation Office of Gift Planning at 612-625-1440, 800-922-1663, or Or visit

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