Richard Magraw begins with his background and education. He describes his residencies
and his work history and discusses his work as assistant dean at UMN. He discusses the
effect of National Institutes of Health research funding on medical education in the late
1940s and 1950s, the focus on specialization and the de-emphasis of primary care during
this time. He goes on to discuss the faculty practice issue at UMN in the 1960s, the
regional and national concern in the 1960s over a shortage of physicians, the national
trend in the 1960s of regional health planning, the development of family practice as a
specialty, his book Ferment in Medicine, and the influence on medicine of the
introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid- and late-1960s. He discusses the
Comprehensive Clinic Program (1960-67), the relationship between the Medical School
and Minnesota state legislature, the reorganization and expansion of the health sciences
in the 1960s, the relationship between the Medical School and the affiliated hospitals, and
the relationship among the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health within the
College of Medical Sciences. He describes the attempt to establish a medical school in
St. Paul, the establishment of the Department of Family Practice and Community Health, and the separation of the departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at UMN. He discusses what he did after he left the UMN, including his work in Washington, DC.
Richard Magraw was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 2, 1919. He attended
the University of Minnesota and received his BS in 1939 and his MD in 1944. He did his
internship at Anker Hospital in St. Paul (1943) and his surgical (1944), psychiatry (1947-
49), and medicine (1949-50) residencies in Minneapolis. He went into private practice at
a clinic in Two Harbors from 1944-47. He joined the UMN faculty in 1950. He worked
as an Instructor (1950-52), Assistant Professor (1952-57), Associate Professor (1957-65),
and Professor (1965-1968) in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Internal
Medicine. He also was Assistant Dean of the College of Medical Sciences (1959-60),
Director of the new Comprehensive Clinic Program in the Medical School (1960-67).
From fall 1967 to spring 1968, he took a leave of absence from UMN and worked in
Washington, DC, first as Assistant Director of the Bureau of Medical Services and then
as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Manpower, Department of Health, Education,
and Welfare. He never returned to UMN and after his government service ended, he
served as Dean of the University of Illinois Medical School (1969-73), President of
Eastern Virginia Medical School (1973-78), chair of the American Medical Association’s
Committee of Undergraduate Education (1970-76), consultant for the Indian Health
Service (1978-80), and served as the chief of medicine at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis
(1980-92). In 1992, he retired but went back to teach at the UMN from 1992-97. He
wrote Ferment in Medicine: A Study of the Essence of Medical Practice and of Its New
Dilemmas (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1966), which was published in 1966.
Tobbell, Dominique A.; Magraw, Richard M..
Interview with Richard M. Magraw.
University of Minnesota.
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