Eleanor S. Irvine, MD (1982)


Dr. Eleanor Solomon Gould Irvine was born on September 12, 1919 in Moultonboro, New Hampshire to James and Mary Solomon. She married Everett W. Irvine Jr., MD, a pathologist in Wichita Falls, and they had four children Audrey Ann, Everett Wallace, Eleanor Rae, and James Nelson. After Dr. Everett Irvine’s passing, Dr. Irvine married Joel Onley.       

Dr. Irvine died on June 17, 2015 at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Medical Education & Practice

Before going to medical school, Dr. Irvine had received an MS degree in zoology and a PhD in anatomy. She attended Elmira College in New York and Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts. While teaching at Tulane, she decided to go to medical school and received her MD degree in 1951.

Dr. Irvine did an internship at Harper Hospital in Detroit and completed her pathology training at the University of California in San Francisco. After becoming board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology, she moved to Wichita Falls, Texas where she established a successful private practice. At the time, Wichita Falls and the surrounding areas were particularly underserved leaving Dr. Irvine to work as a consultant for as many as eighteen hospitals at one time.

In 1957, Dr. Irvine opened a private reference laboratory in Wichita Falls with fellow pathologist, Dr. Wallace. In 1960, Dr. Irvine moved to Bethania Hospital in Wichita Falls where she was director of laboratories until 1991. She was elected chief of staff in 1968 and again in 1978.

Before retiring in 1993, Dr. Irvine also operated several independent laboratories in Texas and Oklahoma.  In 1994, she served as medical director of the Wichita Falls Satellite Laboratory of the MetWest/Damon Laboratories of Dallas, and that same year won the Distinguished Service Award by the Wichita County Medical Society.

Dr. Irvine served as president of the Wichita County Medical Society in 1979. She also served as delegate to the Texas Medical Association, and was a member of the first committee of the North Texas Medical Foundation. She was instrumental in establishing the Wichita Falls’ family practice residency training program, which is affiliated with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She was a member of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the College of American Pathologists.

Dr. Irvine was a dedicated teacher having spearheaded the development of the MLT program at Midwestern State University at Wichita Falls. Her work with this program won her national recognition, and, as a result, she worked with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Allied Health Committee of Texas’s Coordinating Board of Higher Education, and the Advisory Committee of the American Association of Medical Assistants. Additionally, Dr. Irvine volunteered in local vaccination drives, provided health education in the local elementary schools, and rang the bell for the Salvation Army.

When Dr. Irvine came to Texas, she was not allowed to buy property or make contracts, hindering her ability to establish a private practice. She was eventually granted feme sole so that she could establish a private practice. In 1985, Dr. Irvine was elected to the North Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

Texas Society of Pathologists

Dr. Irvine served as president of the TSP in 1982. Prior to her presidency, she had also served as secretary and vice president. She was the TSP representative to the TMA Socioeconomic Council.

Dr. Irvine received the George T. Caldwell, MD Award in 1994 for her work in pathology.

Notable Publication(s)

McCoy, T. A., Maxwell, M., Irvine, E., & Sartorelli, A. C. (1959). Two nutritional variants of cultured Jensen sarcoma cells. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 100(4), 862-865.
Curran, J. M., Chen, R., Stokes, R., Irvine, E., Graham, D., Gubbins, E., ... & Hunt, J. A. (2010). Nanoscale definition of substrate materials to direct human adult stem cells towards tissue specific populations. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, 21(3), 1021-1029.