Chapter 01: Attempt to Join the Navy Leads to Medical School
Education: Dr. Knudson discusses his switch from physics to genetics in his second year at the California Institute of Technology. He humorously notes that he made the change because "they already knew everything" in the field of physics. He mentions that Thomas Hunt Morgan, a pioneer in genetic research, was the head of the Biology department at Cal Tech at the time.
Military Experience: Dr. Knudson then explains that at the start of World War II, Cal Tech encouraged its students to join the military, so he enlisted in the navy. However, a person in the navy encouraged Dr. Knudson to go to medical school instead because they "didn't need PhDs in the military." He took their advice and went to Columbia Medical School. Dr. Knudson says that he enjoyed the first two years more than the second because they were based on problem solving rather than memorization.
Mentoring: In the last moments of the chapter, Dr. Knudson provides some advice to young people on how to approach unexpected events in life.
The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Influences from People and Life Experiences; Military Experience; Inspirations to Practice Science/Medicine; The Mentor; Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents
History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History
Knudson, Albert G. Jr., MD, PhD and Rosolowski, Tacey A. PhD, "Chapter 01: Attempt to Join the Navy Leads to Medical School" (2013). Interview Chapters. 299.
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