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380   Pioneers of Cardiac Surgery W. Dudley Johnson, MD (b. 1930) We started working on end-stage endarterectomy, revitalizing arteries that had almost no flow and no lumen. — On his interest in extensive coronary artery endarterectomy Interviewed May 6, 2003 I was born in 1930 in Madison, Wisconsin. My father had grown up in the middle of Wisconsin on a little farm that had a cheese factory, which was one of many in those days. He worked his way through school and became an electrical engineer. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and he met my mother there. She was teaching in the home economics department . I have two brothers, one older and one younger, and we grew up in Madison. When I was thirteen, my father left his position at the University of Wisconsin and went into industry, and we moved to Rockford, Illinois. Somewhere around eighth grade, I decided I wanted to be a physician. I went through high school in Illinois and then on to premedical school. One of our close family friends was a family doctor, and I liked and respected him enormously. How much that influenced my wanting to be a physician , I cannot say, but he certainly was a positive influence. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in 1951 and graduated from the University of Illinois Medical School in 1955. My internship was at Cook County Hospital, which at that time was a big city hospital with thirty-five hundred patients. One ward would commonly have forty to fifty patients in a big open room. There was always a significant shortage of nurses, so the interns often took care of many of the nursing functions. I do not think that you could get away with that kind of system nowadays because of the number of mistakes that we made. The lack of supervision of young inexperienced interns was remarkable, and much of the time we were totally on our own. We had to make decisions , and we had to do things. We did not have a lot of backup. The hospital was so large that the general surgery service had three fracture services, two for men and one for women. When I rotated a month on urology, I did all kinds of cystoscopic examinations and retrograde pyelograms. Every night someone would come in with an obstruction, and we would have to dilate the strictures. It was the same on the fracture service. I had one solid month of fractures, and then one month of dermatology. There was a whole ward for dermatology, end-stage skin problems, plus huge dermatology clinics. By the second year, I could pick the service that I wanted to go on, and I took a lot of different services. I thought this experience was far better than any other general practice residency that I was aware of, because of the exposure to so many different disease processes. I worked every other night, and an eighty-hour week was a good week. At that time, I intended to be a general practitioner. I did not really like surgeons when I was in medical school, but when I rotated on the surgical service for three months as an intern   Coronary Artery Surgery  381 at Cook County, my senior resident was wonderful, a very good surgeon and a very nice person. He changed my attitude about surgeons, and he is still living and practicing in upstate Wisconsin. I saw him last year, but I had not visited him in many years. That experience got me interested in surgery. I did two years of a rotating internship at Cook County Hospital. Part of the reason that I spent two years there was that I was awaiting my draft notice, and to be allocated to a service. I was drafted, and assigned to go to the navy. That would have been a disaster for me, because I have never known anybody to have more motion sickness than I do. If they had put me on a boat, I would have been useless to anybody for two years, so I signed up for the Public Health Service, which was one of the uniformed services in those days. I was assigned to work in their chronic disease division, and they sent me to Columbus, Ohio, where I spent two years with the state health department. I met a fellow there whose wife worked as a secretary for Dr...


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