Oral Histories: 50 Years of UC San Diego School of Medicine (John West)

Oral Histories: 50 Years of UC San Diego School of Medicine (John West)


So my name’s John West and I made my first visit to UCSD way back in 1968. Not too many people around from that period. And the reason was that they were looking for somebody, this is right at the beginning of the medical school, of course, the first students began in 1968, somebody who could teach in pre-clinical areas but who was very au fait, very knowledgeable
about clinical medicine. We organized an expedition to Mount Everest from UC School of Medicine and of course there were people from all over the place on the expedition. But we organized it from here and built some of the most important equipment here. And we were successful in getting the first measurements of human physiology on the summit of Mount Everest so that was very much a new thing to do. But in addition to growing in size it has a stellar reputation. It has many, many faculty members who have extraordinary national and international reputations. In 1969, there were no buildings on the campus for the medical school. They were in the process of being built but I believe I was the first person to occupy the basic science building which was the first building that was put up for the medical school.

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