Name and location of repository
Level of description
Park J. White Oral History
- 1/29/1979 (Creation)
- 1/29/1979 (Creation)
0.05 Linear Feet
Name of creator
Park Jerauld White was born in Green Ridge, Staten Island on December 31, 1891. He studied at Harvard College, receiving his bachelor's degree in 1913. He later received his medical degree from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1917. Shortly after matriculation, Dr. White entered the U.S. Army, where he served as a 1st Lieutenant and Medical Officer in a number of military installations across the United States.
After finishing his military service in 1920, Dr. White moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he established a private practice. He maintained his private practice until his retirement in 1965. Beginning in 1921, Dr. White also served as the Assistant Visiting Pediatrician at Children's Hospital. He held this position until 1962. Additionally, Dr. White served as the Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Professional Conduct at Washington University School of Medicine from 1921-1946. In 1925, he was awarded an Instructorship in Clinical Pediatrics at the Washington University Medical School, a post he would hold until 1958. From 1958 to 1962, Dr. White served as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics. He became a Professor Emeritus in the same department in 1962. Dr. White also served as the Director of Pediatrics at Homer G. Phillips Hospital from 1945 until his retirement in 1966.
Dr. White's first moment of national recognition came in 1925 when he published an article in The Nation's Health entitled 'The Health of Colored Babies in St. Louis.' In this article, he compared the death rates of African American and Caucasian babies in the city of St. Louis. He found that for every 1,000 African American babies born, 126 died. This rate was almost double that of Caucasian babies.
In addition to his work at the Washington University School of Medicine and various area hospitals, Dr. White was also a renowned poet and essayist, an active member of a number of area and professional organizations, and a strong voice for health and civil equality for all St. Louis citizens. His works of literature were published in numerous journals and magazines, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Pediatrics, Today's Health, and the United Church Herald. In the community, Dr. White played an active role in a number of organizations such as the YMCA/YWCA, the St. Louis Civil Liberties Union, the Committee for Environmental Information, and many others.
Dr. White served as the President of the St. Louis Pediatric Society for two years and the State Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics for eight years. Dr. White was also an active member of the St. Louis Conference on Race Relations, a position in which he worked to help African American physicians gain membership to the St. Louis Medical Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. White remained an active member of St. Louis society and the university until his death on August 6, 1987.
Name of creator
Scope and content
White discusses his decision to come to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine in 1920, and his interaction with Williams McKim Marriott. He describes the medical ethics course he taught for over twenty years. White shares his views on fee-splitting, abortion and birth control, euthanasia, women in medicine, malpractice insurance, and answers a question about his involvement in the integration of the Academy of Pediatrics in the 1940’s. The discussion covers White’s medical practice and treatment of disadvantaged children and the prevalence of lead-poisoning in that population. The interview concludes with White reciting one of his poems. Interviewed by Darryl Podoll on January 29, 1979. OH036. Approximate Length 60 minutes.
System of arrangement
Conditions governing access
The collection is open and accessible for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.
Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.
For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (email@example.com).
Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
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Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Oral history interview: http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/oral/interviews/white.html
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"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."
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