"Sometimes, choosing a particular career path comes down to something as simple as someone saying: 'Here, I've got this job for you.' And you do that job and you realize you enjoy it," said Mary Elizabeth Dickason King, M.D., to explain how she became a pathologist. To keep up with her husband's medical career, she moved eight times in forty-years. Yet through it all, she managed to balance her pathology practice, teaching, and raising three children.
Mary Elizabeth Dickason was born in 1926 in Port Chester, New York. She first discovered her love of medicine while working in a hospital lab in Newark New Jersey at the age of 14. She continued working in the lab every summer until she graduated from Smith College in 1947. Following undergraduate studies, she received her MD from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1951. After interning at Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, Dr. King held fellowships under the US Public Health Service in pharmacology at Columbia, from 1952 to 1953, and in biochemistry at the University of Chicago, from 1954 to1955. She was an associate in biochemistry at the Cytophysiology Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 1955 to 1956. She also held fellowships in pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine, from 1956 to 1957, a resident in pathology at Cornell University-New York Hospital, from 1976 to 1978, and a fellow in pathology at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Institute, New York City, from 1978 to 1979.
Dr. King has held faculty positions teaching pathology at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, from 1967 to 1976 and 1990 to 1993, Cornell University College of Medicine, from 1979 to 1983, and the University of Illinois, from 1985 to 1990. Her principal research area has been gynecological and obstetrical pathology.
Dr. King is a member of the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists, International Academy of Pathology, New York Pathological Society, and the Chicago Pathology Society. Happily and "totally" retired, Dr. King boasts six grandchildren and is an active New Yorker, engaged in many aspects of city life. Her daughter, Katherine carries on the family's medical torch as a pediatric pulminologist in Florida.