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ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
Jay L.
Grosfeld, MD
Interviewed by
Michael D. Klein, MD
September 12, 2006
Indianapolis, Indiana
May 31, 2008
Phoenix, Arizona
This interview was supported by a donation
from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Section on Surgery
©2008 American Academy of Pediatrics
Elk Grove Village, IL
Jay L. Grosfeld, MD
Interviewed by Michael D. Klein, MD
Preface
i
About the Interviewer
ii
Interview of Jay L. Grosfeld, MD
1
Index of Interview
81
Curriculum Vitae, Jay L. Grosfeld, MD
85
PREFACE
Oral history has its roots in the sharing of stories which has occurred throughout
the centuries. It is a primary source of historical data, gathering information from
living individuals via recorded interviews. Outstanding pediatricians and other
leaders in child health care are being interviewed as part of the Oral History
Project at the Pediatric History Center of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Under the direction of the Historical Archives Advisory Committee, its purpose is
to record and preserve the recollections of those who have made important
contributions to the advancement of the health care of children through the
collection of spoken memories and personal narrations.
This volume is the written record of one oral history interview. The reader is
reminded that this is a verbatim transcript of spoken rather than written prose. It
is intended to supplement other available sources of information about the
individuals, organizations, institutions, and events that are discussed. The use of
face-to-face interviews provides a unique opportunity to capture a firsthand,
eyewitness account of events in an interactive session. Its importance lies less in
the recitation of facts, names, and dates than in the interpretation of these by the
speaker.
Historical Archives Advisory Committee, 2008/2009
Howard A. Pearson, MD, FAAP, Chair
David Annunziato, MD, FAAP
Jeffrey P. Baker, MD, FAAP
Lawrence M. Gartner, MD, FAAP
Doris A. Howell, MD, FAAP
James E. Strain, MD, FAAP
i
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
Michael D. Klein, MD
Michael Klein graduated from the University of Chicago and the Case Western
Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed a surgical residency at the
New England Deaconess Hospital during which he spent a year as a senior
resident at the Children's Hospital Boston and a year in the laboratory of M. Judah
Folkman, MD. Dr. Klein then went to the Children's Hospital of Michigan,
Detroit for a residency in pediatric surgery. He has served on the faculty in the
department of surgery at the University of New Mexico and the University of
Michigan until going back to the Children's Hospital of Michigan and Wayne
State University School of Medicine where he has remained since 1984. Dr.
Klein has been Director of the Department of Pediatric Surgery and of the training
programs in pediatric surgery and surgical critical care as well as Director of the
IV Team, Nutrition Support Team, and ECMO Team. Currently he is the
Surgeon-in-Chief and the Arvin I. Phillipart Chair and Professor at Wayne State
University. Dr. Klein's research activity has included congenital abdominal wall
defects, blood materials interaction, extracorporeal circulation, robotic surgery,
and the use of Raman spectroscopy for the detection of malignancy.
Dr. Klein has served the American Academy of Pediatrics on the Committee on
Hospital Care, the Executive Committee of the Section on Surgery (of which he
has been the Chair), and currently as Chair of the Surgical Advisory Panel. He
first visited Dr. Grosfeld in Indianapolis in 1977 and has participated with him in
many pediatric surgical activities since then, including serving on the editorial
board of the Journal of Pediatric Surgery of which Dr. Grosfeld is the editor.
ii
Interview of Jay L. Grosfeld, MD, FAAP
Editor’s Note: This interview was taped in two parts. Due to a taping problem,
this first section was re-taped at a later date than the second section, which
begins on page 12.
SECOND INTERVIEW, TAPED ON MAY 31, 2008
DR. Klein
I am here today with Jay Grosfeld for the oral history project for
the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is May 31, 2008, Saturday. We’re
actually at the [JW] Marriott Desert Ridge [Resort & Spa, Phoenix] at the APSA
[American Pediatric Surgical Association] meeting. We are doing this again so
we can hear about Jay’s early life and how he got to be the kind of person he is.
So let me just ask you, how did it all start? Tell us about your family and growing
up.
DR. GROSFELD: I was born in New York City in 1935 and grew up in
Brooklyn. We had an intact family and my mom and dad were married for a
long time, they had a fifty-year marriage. I had one older sibling, a sister
named Claire who is three years older than me. There were just the two of
us, and I was the baby of the family and the only boy. I always felt I got kind
of special treatment because of that. My sister was always very good to me,
always looked after me. We grew up in Brooklyn. I went to the public school
system in New York which was of high quality at the time.
It was an interesting time. We never took a bus to school; we always walked
to school, rain, sleet or snow, whatever, you just walked to school and at the