Angela Clarke oral history interivew, 2008 October 03. OH-00205. [Audio recording] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Neva
Standardized Rights Statement
So why did you come to Las Vegas? Because I had a man who was a good friend of mine — he still is. He was a master masseuse. He had a lot of clients who were in show business. So he got here often. And he was talking to me one day and he said, you know, Dr. Clarke, they need you in Las Vegas. They don't have any board-certified — at that time I was finally board-certified in family practice. They don't have any black board-certified family practitioners in the state of Nevada. Turned out they didn't have any at all. So when I moved to Nevada in '76 — '76? Yeah. That's when I got here, December 23rd or something like that. But anyhow, I was the first board-certified family practitioner in the state of Nevada. They rushed to get somebody else in, but he unfortunately didn't make it until January. And we became good friends, Richard — I forget his last name now. He's dead. But anyway, he tried. They were determined. So I had the story from the horse's mouth that they were determined he would become the first board-certified family practitioner in the state of Nevada. But unfortunately, I got there before his licensing. What did that status do for your career or for your life? Well, for one thing I got a very good introduction to all of the complicated, severe illnesses that people were having because anytime somebody couldn't handle an illness, they said send them to 13 Angela. So I would get people that were dying, that were sick of this, that and the other, just whatever. Send them to Angela. So you got all those cases. Can you give us a sampling of some of those complicated cases? Well, let's see. I had one that I burst out crying when he died in the emergency room because he came in with difficulty breathing. And you needed to put in an intubator. And I am very good — I was -- very good at intubating. But they wouldn't let me do it. It had to be done by the head of the emergency room department at that time at this particular hospital. And he couldn't do it. And I'm frustrated. It's a simple thing. You know, you force them and put the tube down. Anyway, that's how he died. It turned out you don't need to put that in there. The years explained a lot of things that had been happened that we didn't quite understand. Why did he have to have one of the residents explain something to him? Anyway, there was one woman who weighed 400 and 80 something pounds or something. They were treating her a little differently than I would have handled it. So they would send me patients like that.