Oral History Program

Oral History Resources

What is Oral History?

Quite simply, oral history is history that is shared by word of mouth– i.e., verbally. Oral histories can play a fascinating and colorful role in the documenting of history. Anecdotes, jokes, stories and other first-hand recollections by individuals can often help bring the dry facts and outlines of historical events to life like no other resource available to historians.

The best way to make an oral history is to conduct an interview with a subject, and record the conversation. Usually this is done either with an audio recorder, or by using a video camera. For tips on how to conduct your own oral history interviews, see our Oral History Interviewer's Handbook.

The Family Medicine Oral History Project

Since 1992, the Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) has been actively collecting oral histories as part of our efforts to document and preserve the history of the specialty.

At present, the CHFM holds more than 150 oral histories in both audio and video formats. As part of our oral history project, we have also developed a list of subjects throughout the seven family medicine organizations (AAFP, AAFP Foundation, ABFM, ADFM, AFMRD, NAPCRG and STFM) that we have targeted for interviews.

For more information on how you can help to preserve the history of family medicine through conducting oral histories, please contact the Center.

"Voices From Family Medicine" Project

In preparation for the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) in 1992, Drs. John J. Frey III and William B. Ventres conducted a series of extensive oral history interviews with a variety of leaders and educators in the specialty.

The resulting interviews, titled "Voices From Family Medicine," were published as part of a multi-part anniversary series in STFM's Family Medicine journal in 1992-1993.

Below are PDF versions of these articles:

Carmichael, L.P. "Voices from family medicine: Lynn Carmichael." Interview by William B. Ventres and John J. Frey. Family Medicine 24 (January 1992):53-57.(5 page PDF)

Farley, E. "Voices from family medicine: Eugene Farley." Interview by William B. Ventres and John J. Frey. Family Medicine 24 (February 1992):152-155.(4 page PDF)

Leaman, T. "Voices from family medicine: Thomas Leaman." Interview by William B. Ventres and John J. Frey. Family Medicine 24 (September-October 1992):544-547.(2 page PDF)

Maestas, R.; Ferguson, J.; Naumburg, E.; Schwenk, T.; Younge, R. "Voices from family medicine: toward the 21st century." Interview by William B. Ventres and John J. Frey. Family Medicine 25 (January 1993):48-53.(6 page PDF)

Magraw, R.; Odegaard, C.; Ruhe, C.H.W.; Fink, D. "Voices from family medicine: cooperation across disciplines." Interview by William B. Ventres, John J. Frey, and Alfred O. Berg. Family Medicine 24 (November-December 1992):618-622.(5 page PDF)

McWhinney, I.R. "Voices from family medicine: Ian McWhinney." Interview by John J. Frey and William B. Ventres. Family Medicine 24 (May-June 1992):317-320.(4 page PDF)

Phillips, T. "Voices from family medicine: Theodore Phillips." Interview by William B. Ventres and John J. Frey. Family Medicine 24 August 1992):469-473.(5 page PDF)

Ransom, D.C. "Voices from family medicine: Donald Ransom." Interview by William B. Ventres and John J. Frey. Family Medicine 24 (March-April 1992):226-229.(4 page PDF)

Zervanos, N. "Voices from family medicine: Nikitas Zervanos." Interview by William B. Ventres and John J. Frey. Family Medicine 24 (July 1992):390-394.(5 page PDF)

Oral History Resources

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