Document Type



Oregon Health & Science University


Dr. Karen Deveney, M.D. was born in Portland, OR and grew up in Gresham. She attended Stanford College and taught high school English after receiving her undergraduate degree in the mid-1960s. She was one of only 10 women in her medical school class of 142 students at the University of California, San Francisco and only the second female to finish the surgical residency at UCSF in 1972. She completed a residency in the Veterans’ Affairs Hospital in San Francisco, focusing on colonoscopy and endoscopy techniques, and then worked on faculty at UCSF. Following this she worked briefly in the Army in Germany and at the University of Pennsylvania before returning to Oregon to work at OHSU in 1987.

At that time, Deveney was the first woman on the surgical faculty at OHSU where she has helped build the Department of Surgery and the residency program. She has worked to address gender bias in residency programs at OHSU, especially in surgery, and to build a more equal and professional program. Dr. Deveney is a leading expert in colorectal surgery; she set up the colorectal program at OHSU, teaching colonoscopy and endoscopy to surgical residents. She has had a significant influence in developing rural surgery residencies within Oregon and is a national name in this field. She is also the President of the Pacific Coast Surgical Association and head of the Surgery Residency Program at OHSU. In this interview, Dr. Deveney discusses her history, women in medicine, colorectal surgery, residencies, and rural medicine; and her work with Drs. Donald Trunkey, Julie Hansen, Sue Orloff.


Transcript of oral history interview with Karen Deveney, M.D., conducted on December 20, 2016 by Liana Tsikitis, M.D., M.C.R.


OHSU Oral History Project


School of Medicine


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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