Robert F. Peterson, MD (1991)
Dr. Robert “Bob” F. Peterson was born in Drummond, Oklahoma on June 25, 1931 to Roy Edwin and Myrtle May Jantz Peterson. He grew up on a farm eight miles west of Enid. His elementary schooling was in a one-room county schoolhouse that held all eight grades. He graduated from Lahoma High School as valedictorian of his class. He married Jacquelyn on Thanksgiving Day in 1953, and they had two children, Diane and Keith.
Dr. Peterson passed away on May 25, 2006 in Waco, Texas.
Medical Education & Practice
Dr. Peterson received his undergraduate education in pre-med at Northwestern State College in Alva, Oklahoma. He received his MD degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine in 1957. He did his rotating internship at Wesley Hospital in Oklahoma City, which was associated with Oklahoma City Clinic, and he did a pathology residency at the Cleveland Clinic under Dr. John Beach Hazard. During his last year at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Peterson was the recipient of the William E. Lower Award, named for one of the clinic’s founders and is given annually to the resident judged to have completed the best thesis. In 1962 Dr. Peterson was certified by the American Board of Pathology in clinical and anatomic pathology.
After his residency, Dr. Peterson served two years in the U.S. Army as Chief of Laboratory Services at the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Hood near Temple, Texas. During his time in active military service, he was the only pathologist on a base that served approximately 110,000 people.
Following his military service, in 1964, Dr. Peterson moved to Kansas City, Missouri to practice at Menorah Medical Center. In 1965, he accepted a position at Scott and White Clinic in Temple, Texas, where he practiced for the remainder of his professional career. He served in many roles at Scott and White, including director of the Tumor Registry, chief of the Section of Cytopathology, director of Pathology Residency Training, director of Anatomic Pathology, and chairman of the Staff Executive Council. From 1982 until 1993, he was chairman of the Department of Pathology.
Dr. Peterson’s first formal teaching appointment was as clinical instructor in pathology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine from 1964 until 1965. He was appointed lecturer at Texas A&M University School of Medicine in June 1977 and became professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in September 1983.
Dr. Peterson considered organized medicine a high priority and served in various leadership roles. From 1968 to 1971, he served on the Section of Pathology and Physiology for the American Medical Association. In 1972, he became chair of this group when it changed to the AMA Council on Pathology. He served on several AMA council and committee assignments in subsequent years. From 1972 until 1974, he was a Section Council on Pathology representative to the Intersociety Pathology Council, and was a member of the council’s ad hoc committee to review JCAH requirements for a fixed autopsy percentage.
Beginning in 1974, Dr. Peterson served as delegate or alternate delegate from Bell County to the Texas Medical Association. He held this position for twenty-five years. Additionally, he served as delegate or alternate delegate for the College of American Pathologists from 1986 to 1988.
Dr. Peterson took official retirement in 1999, but continued to consult in surgical pathology on a part-time basis.
Texas Society of Pathologists
Dr. Peterson served the TSP in many capacities. From 1988 to 1989, he served as delegate for District 12 to the House of Delegates. He served as speaker of the House of Delegates, and the following year, in 1991, he served as president of the TSP.
Dr. Peterson also served on several committees including the Membership Committee, the Committee on Scientific Program, the Council on Plan and Scope, the Residents/Fellows Seminar Committee, and the Nominating Committee. He was chairman of the Constitutional Bylaws Council.
In 1999, Dr. Peterson received the Andujar Citation of Merit Award for his work at Scott and White and his service in organized medicine.
Dr. Peterson continued to contribute to the medical literature even after retirement with over twenty-four published articles, abstracts, and exhibits. Several of these are from his time as chairman of the GI Pathology sub committee of the Southwest Oncology Group from 1978-1989.
Skipski, V. P., Peterson, R. F., & Barclay, M. (1962). Separation of phosphatidyl ethanolamine, phosphatidyl serine, and other phospholipids by thin-layer chromatography. Journal of Lipid Research, 3(4), 467-470.
Bukowski, R. M., Johnson, K. G., Peterson, R. F., Stephens, R. L., Rivkin, S. E., Neilan, B., & Costanzi, J. H. (1987). A phase II trial of combination chemotherapy in patients with metastatic carcinoid tumors. A Southwest Oncology Group Study. Cancer, 60(12), 2891-2895.