Making Cancer History Voices Collection
Mavis P. Kelsey, M.D. Oral History Interview 1, May 11, 2009
Mavis Parrott Kesley, co-founder of Houston’s Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, was born in Deport, Texas on October 7, 1912. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Texas A and M in 1932 and a Medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas in 1936. He returned to teach at UTMB in Pathology after a rotating internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. He then worked for Scott and White Clinic. In 1939, he served a three year fellowship in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. During his fellowship, he served in the Medical Corps of the US Army Air Force from 1941 to 1945 earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He returned to Rochester to earn a Master’s Degree in Internal Medicine from the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in 1947.
In 1949, he moved to Houston, Texas to establish a clinic. He convinced fellow Mayo Clinic colleagues Drs. William Seybold and William Leary to form what would eventually become the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. He retired from his clinic in 1985 after 37 years of service.
While establishing his practice in the 1940s and 1950s, he also worked part time at the newly formed University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as an Associate Internist and even served as acting dean for the Postgraduate School of Medicine. While at MD Anderson, he established an isotope lab and worked in research thyroid cancer.
Mavis Kelsey married Mary Randolph Wilson in 1939. The couple had four sons. Following his retirement, Dr. Kelsey remained in Houston and was active in various medical and charitable organizations.
Dr. Mavis Kelsey talks with Lesley Brunet about his education and his early career in Houston. He focuses on his time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota and his years at MD Anderson. He spends a lot of time talking about his relationship with MD Anderson faculty and staff members including Drs R. Lee Clark, and Dr. Ernst Bertner, and Alando Ballantyne.
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Interview between Mavis P. Kelsey and Leslew W. Brunet on May 11, 2009 in his residence in Houston, Texas.
Mavis P. Kelsey, M.D. Oral History Interview 1, May 11, 2009, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Oral history was edited by Javier Garza, Archivist, June 2011