Marcus, Florence
Interview Date
July 22, 1992
Dr. Florence Marcus, one of the first women doctors in Allegheny County, organized innovative public health clinics in Pittsburgh.
[T1S1] Provides biographical details and reports family's origins. Respondent reports deaths of parents and extent of education as youth. Family's businesses are noted. Respondent recounts difficulties adjusting to, and being accepted at, various nursing schools in the 1910s. Respondent reports length of work at Homeopathic (now Shadyside) Hospital and preparations to attend medical school. Respondent's acceptance by male medical students is explained; Respondent indicates financial arrangements to pay tuition.
[T1S2] Respondent mentions friction between aunt and Rabbi Sivitz. Parent's synagogue affiliation is reported. Respondent outlines early career as nurse and medical student. Quotas on Jewish students, nursing opportunities during WWI and Respondent's professional interests are noted. Respondent specifies location of first office and enumerates hospitals on which Respondent was on staff. Respondent's services for an electrical union are outlined; Respondent indicates impact of depression on practice. Respondent's later public health projects are summarized. Services offered in 1960s by Respondent's clinic in Northview Heights are enumerated. Respondent explains relinquishing direction of health center and notes its success. Respondent outlines the personnel, workflow and services offered at the Arsenal (now Clack) Clinic in the 1950s.
[T2S3] Professional education and practice of Respondent's mentor, Dr. B.B. Wechsler, are discussed. Respondent reports attaining master's degree from Harvard and recounts public health work in Alaska in 1948. Affiliation of Benjamin Spock, Fred Rogers and Eric Ericson with the Arsenal Clinic is discussed. Respondent recounts the impetus for and funding of the Northview Heights Clinic. Respondent explains leaving the Arsenal Clinic in 1963.
[T2S4] Experience with anti-Semitism in Lawrenceville as youth is illustrated. Respondent's involvement with Hadassah is noted. Respondent relates circumstances of becoming a therapist at mental health hospitals. Respondent discusses use of vacations and indicates great-nephews professions. Respondent enumerates honors received; Respondent relates anecdote involving Dr. Spock. Respondent discusses relatives and in-laws in Pittsburgh.
[T3S5] Respondent explains reasons for selecting to attend University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Medical interns and residents of 1920s and 1990s are succinctly compared. Respondent recounts support received from Dr. Wechsler in preparing for medical studies and opening first office. Clientele of Respondent's general practice and specialized training available in Europe are noted. Respondent specifies charges for services and hours of work in private practice in the 1930s. Respondent explains interest in public health and discusses fellow students at Harvard. Respondent recounts inception of Arsenal Clinic and notes personalities involved in the project.
[T3S6] Arsenal's administrative jurisdiction is noted. Respondent indicates advantages of medical training at Arsenal. Backgrounds of Fred Rogers and Eric Ericson are related; former medical students at Arsenal are named. Co-workers at Arsenal are characterized; their departures from the program are summarized. Facilities and Respondent's duties at St. Francis and Woodville State Hospitals are noted.
Economic Depression; Hospitals; Clinics; Arsenal Clinic (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Physicians; Medicine; Public health; Rogers, Fred; Spock, Benjamin, 1903-1998
Birth Date
Detroit, MI
Physician, Nurse
Shadyside Hospital; Visiting Nurses Association; Pittsburgh Public Health Department
Lawrenceville; Bloomfield; Green Tree
Occupation (father)
Length (hours)
Stolzer, Shirley
Dinman, Gabrielle
Dinman, Gabrielle
Collateral Materials
Box 104 FF 20
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh