I Dr. Groundwater's Early Education and Experience
― [Interview 1: July 24, 1996]<lb>[San Francisco, California] ―
Dr. Groundwater, would you give me a thumbnail sketch of where you were born and educated?
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, April 9, 1937. Grew up in Lakewood, Ohio, which is a suburb of Cleveland. Went through the Lakewood schools through Lakewood High School, and then went on to Dartmouth [A.B. 1959]. There I majored in medical science and went on to Case Western Reserve and received an M.D. .
Subsequently I came to San Francisco, did my internship at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco [1965-1966].
How did that come to be?
Well, I was getting a divorce at that time. In Cleveland, I had been married to a medical student, and she apparently had schizophrenia. I wanted a complete change, and I'd heard that San Francisco was an interesting place to have a complete change. So I came out here and did my internship here. I had a rotating internship at Kaiser, so I gained experience with all the fields of medicine.
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Military Service, 1965-1967Groundwater
Then I went into the navy; that was in the Vietnam era. I was on a troop carrier that took marines from San Diego and also Korean troops from Korea to Vietnam. We were stationed briefly in Danang. The first year, I just did general medicine. Appendectomies, setting fractures, and so forth.
The second year, I was stationed in Newport, Rhode Island. That second year, I spent quite a lot of time tagging along after the navy dermatologist, Bruce Burgess, who's now in Fort Lauderdale. Worked in his clinic with him, and also in the general clinic in Newport. I had a couple weeks with the frogmen school. [laughs] During that year I decided that I was most interested in treating skin disease. So I inquired into residencies.
Residency at the University of California, San Francisco [UCSF], 1967-1970Groundwater
I came back here to San Francisco, did my residency in dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. Marcus Conant
1. See the oral history with Marcus Conant, M.D. in the series, The AIDS Epidemic in San Francisco: The Medical Response, 1981-1984. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Hereafter, AIDS oral history series.
What year was this?
[Consults notes] 1967.
Anyway, I rotated through several different hospitals, the U.S. Public Health Hospital, San Francisco General Hospital, Moffitt Hospital, UCSF. At the U.S. Public Health Hospital I worked with Axel Hokl and Paul Fasal, where we managed a lot of leprosy patients. That was a good
― 148 ―experience in public health. [tape interruption]
At UCSF, Marc Conant, as I said, was chief of the clinic, and so I had a good relationship with Marc and with Howard Maibach. I later taught in the Environmental Dermatitis Clinic at UCSF with Howard for ten years. I spent several months working in Rees B. Rees's office in the third year, which was in this building [450 Sutter Street, San Francisco].
Private Practice, 1970-presentGroundwater
And then I opened up private practice; I hung out a shingle in this building as soon as I finished the residency, 1970. And I've been here ever since. I was in a smaller office for about five years, and then moved to this office. Then we took over a dental office next door, and we have another little office down the hall that we use for a lunch room and storage of charts. But I've been in this building for a long time.