Retired St. Luke's physician preserves history

Published: Jun. 22, 2018 at 5:22 PM MDT
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Dr. Allan Frost, a retired physician, has been recording interviews with other retired physicians about their medical experiences.

"The idea is to find out what was medical care like many years ago, how has it changed, how did they get here, because most physicians here come from somewhere else," he said.

Files are stored at the Twin Falls Public Library and St. Luke's Magic Valley's library.

"I wanted to do this in tribute to a pediatrician by the name of Ben Katz, who was my first interviewee," he explained.

Frost said Katz wanted to do a history project when the hospital in Twin Falls opened, but it didn't work out.

"He wanted to particularly honor two physicians he felt played a big part in increasing a quality of care here," he said, adding that Katz felt that medical personnel stand on the shoulders of others.

He decided to do an oral history project after finding out about a similar project from his alma meter, the University of Minnesota medical school.

Frost has nine interviews under his belt in about four years.

"The oral interview is the easy part. The transcription is the difficult part," he explained.

Each interview is different according to the person interviewed, ranging from physicians to nurses.

"Many of these stories are reflections of what happened and has happened in medicine all over the country. So things like the advent of technology, which has affected the surgical subspecialties," he continued. "I'm an ophthalmologist. Been huge changes, I came here 44 years ago, it's just been tremendous changes."

He said primary care like family practices, internal medicine and pediatrics changed, having to adapt to electronic medical records.

Frost said he's never imagined St. Luke's Magic Valley to be where it is now.

"That this community would be growing so fast and become as large as it is," he said. "We're very, very fortunate."