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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James Slade, February 23, 1997. Interview R-0019. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Less racism among pediatricians

Slade entered the pediatric field because he sensed less racial prejudice there. People who treat children are less prone to racism, he believes.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James Slade, February 23, 1997. Interview R-0019. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KAREN KRUSE THOMAS:
How did you get interested in pediatrics?
JAMES SLADE:
It really began in medical school, because you were not limited in any way on the pediatrics floor. The residents were good, and the head of the department was nice, so you had a full range. It seemed like I could understand the things we were dealing with. It really began in my third year clinical service. Not that the other services weren't all right, but there was no discrimination in pediatrics. You had one ward, and where you were located depended on which sickness you had.
KAREN KRUSE THOMAS:
Do you think there's anything about pediatrics itself that made it that way?
JAMES SLADE:
It's hard to discriminate against children if you've really got a heart. A sick child is touching regardless of what color they are. The fellows who went into pediatrics, if they had prejudice, they probably lost it along the way. But they did not demonstrate it from what I could determine. That was back in the '50s. From there, it was really the beginning of my love for pediatrics. The other services weren't as open as pediatrics was. The classmates were fine, we got along OK and didn't have any problem. I will say that all of the professors were open-minded. They didn't bend over backward, but they didn't try to hinder you at all.