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Dr. Earl NationDr. Earl Nation, Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. Earl Nation was born in Texas in 1910.  His family moved to San Diego in 1926.  During that same year, Nation started classes at San Diego State College where he majored in chemistry. He graduated in 1931 and moved to Cleveland, Ohio to begin medical school at the Western Reserve School of Medicine.  He received a Crile Research Scholarship his first summer there.  In 1935, Nation completed his medical studies at Western Reserve and was awarded an Alpha Omega Alpha Prize for his research.  Upon graduation, Nation moved to Los Angeles and started a year-long rotating internship at the Los Angeles County Hospital.  A year later, he began residency in urology, also at the LA County Hospital.  In 1941, Nation went into practice with Dr. H.C. Bumpus and Dr. Ben D. Massey in Pasadena, specializing in urology.  In addition, Nation also taught urology at the University of Southern California, but retired in 1955.

During Nation's medical career, he served as president of the Huntington Memorial Hospital, the Pasadena Dispensary, the Pasadena Medical Society, the California Urological Society, the Western Section of the American Urological Association (AUA), and the national American Urological Association.  In 2002, the AUA awarded Dr. Nation the Ramon Guiteras Award.  

In addition to Dr. Nation's medical practice, he contributed heavily to medical history scholarship and research.  Nation focused primarily on Western medical history and Sir William Osler.  An avid collector of Osleriana, Dr. Nation was a charter member of the American Osler Society.  

Dr. Nation retired from his practice in 1990, and remained active in the American Osler Society until his death in 2008.

Oral History

Oral history audio files from Special Collections & University Archives

Download the PDF transcript.

Dr. Nation's oral history documents his childhood in Texas and San Diego, his education, and his medical career as a urologist. His oral history is divided into two parts. Part 1 of Dr. Nation's oral history focuses on his early childhood in Texas, then San Diego. Of particular interest are Dr. Nation's remembrances of San Diego State College during the late 1920s and early 1930s, including San Diego State's move to its current location, parking issues, the chemistry fraternity, and jaunts to Tijuana for horse races and entertainment. Dr. Nation's account of medical school in Cleveland, Ohio during the Depression is insightful as well. The second part of Dr. Nation's history includes his remembrances of the Los Angeles County General Hospital, his contraction of Tuberculosis, his medical history scholarship, and his reflections on his urological practice.

Interview recorded on audio tape by Susan Resnik, Ph.D on May 16 - May 17, 2006.

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