Early History – Southdale Obstetric and Gynecologic Consultants

By Thomas Carrier, M.D. (Partner from 1966 - 1998)

Dr. Thomas Carrier 

The Beginning

The practice which gave birth to Southdale Ob/Gyn was founded in the early 1950s when Dr. William
B. Stromme, a Minnesota native, returned to Minneapolis from New York City, where he had been serving on the faculty of Cornell University Medical College.  With offices initially in the Medical Arts Building, Dr. Stromme’s principal hospital affiliations were in downtown Minneapolis with Fairview (now Fairview University) and Northwestern (now Abbott-Northwestern). In 1965, the group was among the first to expand their practice to Fairview Southdale in Edina and, in 1984, to Fairview Ridges in Burnsville.

Dr. Stromme, who died in 1978 at the age of 62, was a remarkable person and a highly respected physician both nationally and internationally in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology. In addition to maintaining an extremely busy practice, he contributed numerous papers to the peer-reviewed medical literature and co-authored three  editions of classic text, Operative Obstetrics. He also served as Clinical Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School where he taught several generations of medical students and residents.

What truly distinguished Dr. Stromme was his selfless dedication to his patients and to the practice of medicine at the highest professional and ethical standards. His spirit of caring and compassion was shared with every patient, each of whom was made to feel that she was special – and, to Dr. Stromme, each patient was special. With these guiding principles, he laid the foundation for this practice and set the bar very high for all who would follow.  

In 1957, Dr. Stromme was joined in practice by Dr. Robert W. Wagner and, in 1966, by Dr. Thomas C. Carrier, each of whom would spend more than 30 years with Southdale Ob/Gyn. For several years, the practice was known as Stromme, Wagner and Carrier but as each new physician joined the group it became more and more difficult to list all the partners every time the phone was answered. It was then that we adopted the much simpler “Southdale Ob/Gyn.”  In 1985, we welcomed our first female partner, Dr. Jan Duquette, who paved the way for the many women physicians who now practice with the group. Like Dr. Duquette, a majority of our physicians are graduates of the residency program at the University of Minnesota, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health.

A Tradition of Collaborative Care

While Dr. Stromme treasured the one-on-one relationships with his patients, he also embraced the concept of group practice. He treated all of his partners as he did his patients - as equals. He recognized the benefits of sharing new knowledge, of instant second (and, sometimes third) opinions, of coverage during absence  by partners who shared a common philosophy and training, and of always being able to offer care by a well-rested physician. He was a strong advocate of continuing medical education and encouraged all of us to be involved in teaching and medical affairs at the local, state or national levels. Dr. Stromme also had a great appreciation for the many talented nurses, technicians and other staff who make-up the Southdale Ob/Gyn family and considered each of them a valued and integral part of the team.  The legacy of Dr. Bill Stromme lives on in each of us who have chosen to follow here in his footsteps. With this legacy comes both the privilege and responsibility to maintain a level of care for our patients of which he would be proud. 

Written by Dr. Thomas C. Carrier 
Emeritus Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health,
University of Minnesota Medical School
Retired January 1, 1998

May, 2015