Deans Day Program
The prognosis for the health of the academic medical enterprise is mixed, said Dean Herbert Pardes in delivering welcoming remarks at the Deans Day Program May 14. There is, he said, an epidemic across the nation of teaching hospitals in financial distress. Fortunately, he reassured visiting alumni, medical research at P&S is stronger than ever before. Dean Pardes has worked fiercely throughout his tenure to bolster research and strengthen the infrastructure to support it. If you want more science youve got to have more space, he said. The Psychiatric Institute building, he reported, was up and running. And in the fast burgeoning Audubon Biomedical Science and Technology Park, the Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion houses one of the nations finest comprehensive diabetes centers, the Human Genome Center, and a Cancer Genetics Institute.
A morning round table, titled Visions for the New Millennium, included P&S department chairmen Myron Weisfeldt (medicine), Eric Rose75 (surgery), John Driscoll Jr. (pediatrics), Rogerio Lobo (OB/GYN), and Timothy Pedley (neurology). All offered positive prognoses for the future of their fields.
Alumni Panel: Salute to Leadership
Allan G. Rosenfield59, the Delamar Professor and dean of the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, moderated an alumni panel of academic leaders and medical school leaders from around the country and Canada. Panelists reflected on the influence of P&S on their leadership style and presented their views of the future of academic medicine.
Nathan Kase55, professor of OB/GYN and reproductive science and dean emeritus of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, observed, My best memories of P&S were the leaders and role models to whom I was exposed. Considering the hurdles facing individuals seeking a medical career today, he reflected pessimistically on the diminished likelihood that people of such high quality be attracted and retained in medical education. Likewise prideful of his P&S past, Stanley S. Bergen Jr.55, founding president emeritus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, spoke of the many challenges ahead, among which he cited the need for our graduates to become more cognizant of the cultural diversity of our nation. Cautioning against an overdependence on technological advances, he insisted that every time we increase the cost of technology, a few more people will be dropped out of the bottom of health care coverage.
The husband and wife team of Richard55 and Sylvia Cruess55 presented the view from north of the border. He is professor of surgery and dean emeritus of McGill Universitys medical school, Canadas oldest. She is associate professor of medicine at McGill University and vice president and medical director of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Unlike pronouncements of the AMA, Richard Cruess declared, our [Canadian] health care system worked well . . . our public health statistics were better [than in the United States] . . . and we cover everybody. A recession in the 1980s led to cuts that severely diminished Canadian health care benefits. The system, however, is on the mend, Richard Cruess said. Sylvia Cruess reflected on the many changes in medical practice since the 1950s, noting the modification of the patient-physician relationship from one of paternalism to partnership. She stressed that as a profession, we have to realign our interests and desires with those of the society we serve.
Paul A. Marks49, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a former dean of P&S and vice president of health sciences at Columbia, was optimistic about the future. Noting that today 85 percent of all childhood leukemia cases survive, he said, theres got to be something right about whats happening in medicine. And while admitting that as health care providers, we have to become much more patient-focused, he believes the profession will rise to the challenge and harness the unprecedented medical opportunities.
Stanford A. Roman Jr.68, professor and dean of the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education/CUNY Medical School, emphasized the vital need to train more minority physicians. The population is changing dramatically, he said, and minority physicians serve minority populations disproportionately more than others.
Robert J. Weiss51, adjunct professor of arts and sciences at the University of Maine and dean emeritus of the School of Public Health at Columbia, declared that leadership rises like cream on milk, appropriate to the situation. Confident that the new leaders will come forward, he predicted a glorious new millennium in health care.
In the afternoon of the Deans Day program, surgical alumni of CPMC gathered for the John Jones Surgical Society program.
Other afternoon events included tours of the Health Sciences campus and demonstrations of the O. Alan Rose36 Cardiovascular Teaching Room and the online electronic curriculum.
Reunions, as always, were celebrated all over town. The classes of 1924, 1929, 1934, and 1939 regrouped at the Alumni Day luncheon on May 15. Fridays revelers converged upon most of the major clubs. The classes of 1944 and 1964 dined at the Columbia Club. The Class of 1949 had its 50th reunion at the Harmonie Club, where the class of 1974 also held a party. The classes of 1954, 1979, and 1984 did it up at the University Club. The Class of 1959 toasted success at the Century Club. The Class of 1969 partied at the Penn Club. The Class of 1989 celebrated at the home of Joseph and Kathy Mele. And the Class of 1994 held its fifth year reunion at the Faculty Club.
Fifty YearsWhats Past is Prologue
Reminiscing over filet mignon at the Harmonie Club, the Class of 1949 covered all the bases in medical callings, from family practice and internal medicine to pediatrics and surgery, from psychiatry to international public health, from hospital administration to molecular biology (in the latter case, covered by the same physician, Paul Marks, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Marks, a renowned microbiologist, also is former P&S dean and vice president for health sciences at Columbia.)
Pediatrics was well represented. Joan Morgenthau, a lecturer at Mount Sinai, was a former associate dean there and director of the largest adolescent health center in the United States. Bill Nyhan, emeritus founding chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Diego, identified Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, the second most common cause of genetically related mental retardation (after Downs syndrome). John Paulus recently retired after 39 years of private practice in Redlands, Calif., where he originally had been the only pediatrician. The entire town turned out to salute him with tears, hugs, and well wishes.
Jim Malm, emeritus professor of surgery at P&S and former recipient of the schools Distinguished Service Award, drove in from Marthas Vineyard to be on hand. Two class members recalled treating American presidents: Retired U.S. Army Medical Corpsman Bill Fisher tended to Lyndon Johnson and cardiologist Lewis Elias was called in to treat Richard Nixon. Dr. Elias, who also practiced for many years in rural Appalachia, was one of 100 people awarded the prestigious Ellis Island National Medal of Honor in 1998.
The class also has many notable women. Judy Sulzberger, a member of the Columbia-Presbyterian Health Sciences Advisory Council and the New York Pasteur Foundation of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, was instrumental in the creation of the Human Genome Center at P&S. Grace Herman retired from her occupational medical practice for Metropolitan Life to pursue poetry full time. Her book of poems, Set Against Darkness, appeared in 1992. Martha MacGuffie, the first woman to complete a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery and the first woman surgeon on the staff of a major suburban hospital, has devoted much of her time in recent years to the treatment of children in Kenya. She received the 1998 Humanitarian Award from the International Lions Club.
Class chairman John MacIver, though retired from full-time psychiatry, still keeps his analytic skills sharp with mental health clinic work on Cape Cod, where he lives, and in Hawaii. Dr. MacIvers eloquent remarks, delivered on his classmates behalf at the Saturday alumni dinner dance and awards ceremony, linked the medical hearts and minds of one generation to those of another. The Class of 1949 has witnessed and participated in the greatest expansion of medical knowledge and its useful application in all human history, he said, while deferring to the potential of the Class of 1999 with a quote from Shakespeares The Tempest: Whats past is prologue. . . . It will be your task over the years, he told the celebrating graduates, to harness Prosperian powers for the common good.
Alumni Day Scientific Session
Shortly before his death, Malcolm Carpenter served as this years Honorary Alumni Day Chairman. Andrew C. Frantz55, chairman of the Alumni Day Scientific Session, introduced Dr. Carpenter, a revered former member of the Department of Neurology faculty and author of the landmark textbook, Human Neuroanatomy. Dr. Carpenter introduced generations of P&S students and house staff to the mysteries of the brain. Graciously accepting the honor, Dr. Carpenter acknowledged that, while he was not a graduate of the medical school, all my years as a resident and faculty member were in themselves quite an education, even though they were not heretofore recognized by a degreeexcept by this medal.
The talks by selected members of the anniversary classes treated pioneering findings and procedures in a wide variety of fields, including orthopedic construction and lengthening of limbs, non-invasive brain surgery, the incidence of osteoporosis in men, an experimental nuclear therapeutic modality for the treatment of brain tumors, population growth and reproductive health in the next millennium, and the human perception of outer space.
Presentations were made by:
Karen H. Antman74, Wu Professor of Medicine at P&S, Controversies in Breast Cancer
William H. Seitz Jr.79, associate clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at Case Western Reserve University, Functional Outcome of Callus Distraction Lengthening in the Hand and Upper Extremity for Traumatic and Congenital Skeletal Deformities
L. Dade Lunsford74, professor and chairman of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, Zero Invasive Brain Surgery
William H. Theodore74, professor of neurology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and chief of the clinical epilepsy section of the NIHs National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Language Dominance in Children with Epilepsy and Functional Anatomy of Cognitive Development
John P. Bilezikian69, professor of medicine at P&S, Osteoporosis in Men
Rolf E. Barth64, professor of pathology at Ohio University, Boron Neutron Capture Therapy of Brain Tumors: An Emerging Therapeutic Modality
Allan Rosenfield59, dean of Columbias Joseph Mailman School of Public Health and Delamar Professor of Public Health and Obstetrics/Gynecology at P&S, Population Growth, the Environment and Reproductive Health: International Challenges for the 21st Century
Story Musgrave64, former NASA astronaut, Human Spatial Orientation in the Space-flight Environment
Gala Dinner Dance
In the art deco splendor of the Starlight Roof ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria, new P&S alumni mingled with their distinguished predecessors.
Scanning the crowd of alumni and this years graduates, the latter barely able to contain their excitement, Dean Herbert Pardes acknowledged a glorious tradition and looked to the future. Were going to be able to say to the baby boomers of 2000, he predicted, there are very few diseases for which we dont have a cure or a way to make life more livable. All of you are going to be in on the adventure.
Kenneth A. Forde59, co-chairman of the Honors and Awards Committee, read the award citations and handed out the gold medals. The recipient for distinguished achieve-ments in medicine was Oscar D. Ratnoff39. A legend in the field of hematology, Dr. Ratnoff, emeritus professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, is noted in particular for his work on the Hageman factor, a formerly unidentified blood clot promoting factor. No less a legend at P&S, Glenda Garvey69, a three-time recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, was given the gold medal for excellence in clinical medicine. Professor of clinical medicine, course director of the third-year medical clerkship, lecturer in the infectious disease segment in Abnormal Human Biology, and former chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Garvey is a beloved and revered member of the faculty.
Henry Clay Frick II44, professor emeritus of clinical OB/GYN at P&S, a longstanding class chairman, and loyal alumnus, won the gold medal for meritorious service to the school and the Alumni Association. And to the wild applause of her classmates, Blanche Y. Fung99 rose to accept the gold medal awarded to a graduating senior in recognition of her interest in and devotion to P&S and its alumni.
In addition to the anniversary class remarks by John MacIver49, other speakers were Lester W. Blair74 and Richard F. Mattern74, representing the 25th anniversary class, and Livia M. Santiago-Rosado99 representing the graduating class.