Don Carlos and Alice V. Peete Lecture in the History of Medicine
Dr. Don Carlos Peete (1900-1994)
This lecture, honoring Dr. Don Carlos Peete (1926-75) and his wife, Alice, was among the first named lectures in the history of medicine at KU Medical Center. A 1925 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Dr. Peete began his training as an intern at what was then the new Bell Memorial Hospital, now the main administrative Murphy Building. Thus began a lifelong attachment to the institution where he would devote the largest share of his clinical and academic energy. A specialist in internal medicine, and especially the cardiovascular system, Dr. Peete published research on rheumatic heart disease, nutrition, and diphtheritic heart disease, including a book-length study titled Psychosomatic Genesis of Coronary Artery Disease (1955).
As a clinician, Dr. Peete rose steadily through the academic ranks, culminating in his appointment as Clinical Professor of Medicine in 1967 at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. While serving in a number of capacities in the hospital and medical school, he also extended his clinical presence throughout the broader medical community of Kansas City. He served variously as the Chief-of-Staff at Trinity Lutheran Hospital; the President of the Staff at Children's Mercy; and was a member of the medical staff at St. Luke's Hospital. He was also a founding member and the president of the Missouri Heart Association, where he established a widely recognized heart clinic at the Richard Cabot Club.
Dr. Peete was a committed and enthusiastic student of medical history, a passion that can be traced back to his early days within the orbit of his mentor and friend, Dr. Logan Clendening. Peete admired Clendening for his witty and commonsense approach to medicine and life, as well as the advice he provided in his nationally syndicated medical column "Diet and Health," where Peete contributed as a guest columnist in the early 1940s. Appointed as Lecturer in the History of Medicine, Dr. Peete lectured for many years in Clendening's courses on medical history, focusing on British contributions to our understanding of disease and its treatment during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He was particularly drawn to the life and work of Edward Jenner, and especially to Jenner's pioneering work on the use of vaccination against smallpox.