Alumni News Editor: Marianne Wolff, M.D.
Alumni News Writer: Peter Wortsman
Keith Brodie: Musings of a President Emeritus
By Peter Wortsman
It has been 15 years since Keith Brodie’65, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychiatry and president emeritus of Duke University, left office to return to teaching, clinical consults, writing, and research, yet his attachment to the celebrated school in Durham, N.C., and to the cause of higher education still runs strong. “You leave the presidency, but it never leaves you,” he says.
Dr. Brodie is a rare M.D., and perhaps the only psychiatrist to have headed up a major American university, a position more often held by lawyers and politicians. In his compelling new book, “The Research University Presidency in the Late Twentieth Century,” a study based on in-depth interviews with eight other former university presidents and jointly published by the American Council on Education and Praeger, he brings the savvy of his experience at the helm and a psychiatrist’s insight to the study of academic leaders and leadership in America.
P&S caught up with Dr. Brodie over lunch at the elegant Washington Duke Inn on campus and during a personal tour of the university in January 2008.
Moving Hearts and Changing Minds
Driving around Duke’s sprawling bucolic campus with a former president gives the visitor a privileged perspective on the weal of academe. The past rewinds in the rearview mirror, one building at a time, as the future unfurls in the fast forward
of construction, bypassing the present at the speed of dreams. Dr. Brodie takes pride in pointing out a few of the programs and projects he shepherded, like the School of the Environment, the Terry Sanford Public Policy Institute (modeled after the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton), the Levine Science Research Center (the largest single-site interdisciplinary research facility of any American university), and the jogging trail that weaves it way through the Duke Forest, well trodden by walkers, bicyclists, and baby carriages. It’s hard not to be dazzled by the sheer size and splendor of this intellectual oasis, a city within a city, comprising some 8,611 acres of fields, woods and gardens the envy of any urban university with scattered clusters of Gothic revival, Georgian, and contemporary structures and seemingly infinite room to grow. People wave greetings along the way and a poker-faced security guard breaks into a smile, waving us down a restricted driveway in front of the landmark Duke Chapel, where such visionary speakers as Dr. Martin Luther King and Bishop Desmond Tutu moved hearts and changed minds.
Photo credit: Peter Wortsman
|Keith Brodie’65 in front of a statue of Washington Duke
A visionary in his own right, Dr. Brodie is credited during his 11 years of leadership, 1982-1993, the first three years as chancellor, with having been instrumental in raising the school’s academic profile from that of a respected regional contender to one of the country’s top-ranked research institutions. He doubled Duke’s endowment and promoted interdisciplinary research. Among other initiatives, he helped fold a sleepy School of Forestry into a top-ranked School of the Environment and launched the interdisciplinary Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences. He recruited provost Phillip Griffiths from Harvard, and together they brought in such bold thinkers as Stanley Fish to chair the English department, who in turn hired Henry Louis “Skip” Gates to bring an African-American perspective. Keen to make the culture of the university more inclusive, Dr. Brodie pushed through a Women’s Studies Program, launched a Black Faculty Initiative, championed the Program for Preparing Minorities for Academic Careers, and hired an assistant dean to help boost undergraduate minority enrollment from 3 percent to 9 percent. Also committed to fairness, he extended Duke’s generous college tuition benefits, reserved for the children of faculty, to all employees of the university.
In 1986, a year into his presidency, Dr. Brodie made headlines when he invited Bishop Desmond Tutu to speak and subsequently, on the bishop’s urging, spearheaded Duke’s divestment from South Africa-related companies.
While a few of the trustees and some alumni initially balked at his more controversial decisions, Dr. Brodie gently nudged the venerable Southern school into the national spotlight, where it has sparkled ever since. By 1993, the year he stepped down, Duke had become the nation’s hottest pick for undergraduate admission. Duke’s medicine, law, and business schools are among the nation’s finest. Applicants are beating their way to the door in record numbers.
Emeritus Yes, Retired No
“A university presidency is a very heady, very seductive experience,” Dr. Brodie, 69, concedes. It wasn’t easy decompressing and rediscovering himself after stepping down. “The trick to thriving post-presidency is to develop other identities.”
In the years since leaving office, while continuing to advise his successors and pitch in when asked, he chaired a federally mandated commission on the behavioral aspects of AIDS, co-authored the commission’s report as well as two other books, and headed up the first Durham Police Review Board. He also served as a clinical consultant to Duke’s champion Blue Devils basketball team and helped pioneer the burgeoning field of sports psychiatry as an early member of the International Society of Sports Psychiatry.
From the Biochemistry of Mental Illness to the Chemistry of Leadership
Born in New Canaan, Conn., Brodie majored in chemistry at Princeton. At P&S he became fascinated by the biochemistry of mental illness after participating in a landmark clinical study of lithium on a third-year elective. He
interned at the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, his first taste of the South, and returned to Columbia and the New York State Psychiatric Institute to pursue a residency in psychiatry. Like many of his medical contemporaries, he fulfilled his selective service at the NIH, as a clinical associate at the National Institute of Mental Health, where he studied the use of lithium in manic-depression. In an era in which Freudian theory and psychoanalysis dominated psychiatric inquiry, Dr. Brodie’s scientific focus would prove prophetic. His emphasis on the basic biology, genetics, pharmacology, and neurochemistry of such debilitating conditions as bipolar disease heralded a subsequent shift in the field.
Photo credit: Peter Wortsman
|Keith Brodie’65 pointing to his portrait in the Duke University library
In 1970 he joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford, where he tested the clinical effectiveness of a
newer and cleaner generation of anti-depressive drugs and served as program director of the General Clinical Research Center. In this capacity, he revealed an untapped ability to rein in the egos of scientific thoroughbreds on the faculty a sine qua non of leadership and to foster a cooperative and productive working environment in which research in diverse disciplines thrived.
“And so then, if you do those things well, the next thing you know you’re given more responsibilities. I was elected to the Faculty Senate and then I was asked to chair it, which at Stanford Medical School is a big deal, because you run Admissions and Financial Aid, the key to the door.”
After turning down offers to chair departments of psychiatry at the University of Texas in Houston, Rush Medical School, and the University of Wisconsin in Madison, he arrived at Duke, attracted by the challenge of bringing scientific rigor to a respected, albeit largely Freudian, department and the appeal of a family-friendly environment in North Carolina. (Dr. Brodie and his wife, Brenda, a graduate of the Columbia School of Nursing, have four grown children, all raised in Durham.) Streamlining the department’s clinical program, he recruited biologically oriented faculty working on psychopharmacological treatments and such innovative behavioral modification methods as biofeedback, introduced brain imaging and, in conjunction with the Department of Neurology, started a sleep disorder center.
His success brought him to national attention, and in 1982, at age 43, he was named president of the American
Psychiatric Association, the youngest president ever. During the Carter administration, he turned down an offer to head up the National Institute of Mental Health, preferring the academic life. As he put it at the time, “The challenge is in the creation of a climate wherein intellectual inquiry and scholarship can flourish.”
|“The trick to thriving post-presidency is to develop other identities.”
Meanwhile, Duke President Terry Sanford, the former governor of North Carolina, appointed Dr. Brodie to represent the medical center as a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee for the university. Sanford subsequently named him chancellor, with responsibilities akin to those of a chief operating officer. And when Sanford left the presidency to become a U.S. senator, the Duke board of trustees selected Dr. Brodie to succeed him.
The Presidency: From Honeymoon to Exit Phase
In his book, “The Research University Presidency in the Late Twentieth Century,” co-authored with Leslie Banner, Dr.
Brodie applies an Eriksonian life-cycle model to the professional path of the university president: from the “courtship” or selection process to “the honeymoon period,” when he or she can do no wrong, to the “plateau or settled period of an administration,” and, finally, to the “exit phase.”
Photo credit: Peter Wortsman
|Keith Brodie’65 on steps in front of Duke Chapel
The book reads in parts like a Ken Burns documentary, with “talking heads” like Michael Sovern, president emeritus of Columbia, and Benno Schmidt, erstwhile president of Yale (and, like Sovern, former dean of Columbia Law School) taking an “under the ivy” look at the workings of academe. Anyone who has ever wondered about the decision-making process at America’s elite institutions of higher learning will be intrigued by Sovern’s revelation of the two defining moments of his presidency: the decision to open Columbia College to women and the sale of the land under Rockefeller Center. In his interview, Schmidt recalls putting Yale under the microscope, examining everything from leaky pipes in the library to academic strengths and weaknesses, pruning where necessary. A successful fundraiser, he aroused the ire of the Yale community when his wife remained in New York and he too opted to live there part time.
Another frank and eloquent respondent, former Brown president Vartan Gregorian, described the perpetual intellectual balancing act of the job: “Since most trustees come from the corporate culture, presidents are forced to develop a schizoid language; they defend their [policies] to the trustees in corporate language and to the faculty and students in academic language...It’s hard to keep the two cultures talking without telling two different things to the inhabitants of those two worlds.” The composite picture Brodie paints in the book of the effective president is perhaps best exemplified by Gregorian’s unapologetic decision to bypass the trustees and offer emergency aid to Brown students whose parents lost jobs in the recession of the 90s: “...in my opinion, when they [the trustees] hired [me], they hired me as a leader rather than a manager.”
“You Have to Have a Vision”
To succeed as a university president, Dr. Brodie insists, “you have to have a vision. If you become a reactor, constantly reacting, without a sense of where you want to take the place, then you become a manager and the job runs you.”
As president of Duke, he was not averse to using the bully pulpit afforded by his position. “I think university leaders still carry a certain level of respect and an aura of authority. They need to weigh in and exert that authority when asked to provide their views. I realize that, well, if I’m not going to speak, the air will be filled with someone else who will, and you don’t know who that will be.”
Case in point: After educating himself about the pros and cons of divestment in South Africa, he invited Bishop Desmond Tutu to speak on campus. The bishop’s historic appearance at the Duke Chapel, which drew an overflow crowd, helped persuade the president that it was the social responsibility of a great university to take a stand. At the risk of losing one of his board members, who was initially very much opposed but later conceded that it was the right thing to do, Dr. Brodie decided in favor of divestment. That decision, a calculated risk, proved a defining moment of his presidency.
His broad vision ran the gamut from academic hires and programs to bricks and mortar. The School of the Environment that he helped shape, taking elements of the old School of Forestry, melded with geology (arts and
sciences), toxicology (medical school), environmental law (law school), and environmental engineering (engineering school), now ranks among the top five in the country. He expanded public policy from a department to an institute and built a building to house it. Attuned to the burgeoning field of integrative medicine, he assigned 30 acres to an Integrative Health Center that has since grown into a campus of its own.
|“I realized that a research university is far too complex an entity too filled with individual and maverick genius to achieve dramatic change under conditions of authoritarian control and micromanagement.”
As a psychiatrist, he favored close listening. In an earlier book, “Keeping an Open Door, Passages in a University Presidency,” a collection of his commencement and other public addresses, also co-authored with Leslie Banner, his former speechwriter, Dr. Brodie characterized his own leadership style as “synergistic.” “I realized,” he wrote, “that a research university is far too complex an entity too filled with individual and maverick genius to achieve dramatic change under conditions of authoritarian control and micromanagement.” Trusting his instinct, he was willing to hear all sides of an issue and to delegate leadership in specific areas to his hand-picked team of administrative appointees. And though he readily admits that, early in his presidency, “I was not well versed in the recent developments in most fields outside the medical center,” his listening and trust paid off. A 1993 academic survey placed 18 of Duke’s departments in the top 20 and eight in the top 10 of the country. The rise of the English department under his tenure from 28th to fifth place (tied with Stanford) in the national ranking a point of lasting pride to Dr. Brodie, an avid bookworm landed Duke on the front page of the New York Times.
Hoop Shots and High Performance Anxiety
Though not much of a sports buff before taking office, President Brodie became a big fan of the Blue Devils, Duke’s winning basketball team, and never missed a game. After he left office, Coach Mike Krzyzewski approached him for help in addressing the players’ “tremendous pressure to perform” as well as their concomitant performance anxiety and related issues of stress. As a clinical consultant to the team for the past decade, Dr. Brodie has been conducting psychological profiles to find and treat problems before they get out of hand and applying visualization techniques to diffuse the players’ pent-up tension. In the process, he helped pioneer a new field. An early member of the International Society of Sports Psychiatry, he is also associate editor of the Journal of Sports Psychology.
While he still attends basketball games regularly, he gets most of his own exercise these days walking his labrador and playing tennis at his summer home in Maine.
“I Guess That’s Why They Put Paintings on the Wall”
While deeply committed to the future of Duke, Dr. Brodie wastes no time on wistfulness. Among the greatest luxuries of leaving the presidency is the free time to write personal notes by hand or take phone calls from the many friends he made along the way.
With his tousled hair, baggy green sweater, and ever youthful smile, the former chief executive is not one to stand on ceremony. Pointing to his own likeness in the portrait gallery on the second floor of the library it’s the only presidential portrait in shirtsleeves he chuckles: “My wife wanted me to show you this to give you a sense of my leadership style. With each passing year there are fewer and fewer people who remember you. Universities are always in a state of flux, with people coming and going. I guess that’s why they put paintings on the wall.”
P&S Alumni Campaign
Goal Set at $100 Million
P&S alumni are paving a better way for current and future students who follow in their footsteps through participation in a multi-million dollar campaign that is an integral component of the CUMC Defining the Future campaign. Almost $44 million in alumni gifts and pledges has been raised toward the $100 million goal set for December 2011.
Alumni Campaign Chairman Richard J. Stock’47 commended class chairs and other alumni donors during an Annual Fund meeting. “This is a terrific accomplishment for our class chairs who are directing the effort. This is an important
time to reconnect and be part of a great, lasting initiative. It is heartening to know that our alumni partners are dedicated to improving the future of P&S and we are grateful for their support.”
|CUMC Capital Campaign Chair Roy Vagelos’54
with Class of 2011 students, from left, Christina
Cho, Tracy Paul, and Catherine Chang
“P&S will always lead the way,” says P. Roy Vagelos’54, a member of the P&S Alumni Campaign Steering Committee and chair of the CUMC Defining the Future campaign and of the CUMC Board of Visitors. “As a group, our alumni have strong vision and strength. We have all benefited from those who came before us; now we, in turn, can make P&S a better place for those who follow.”
“We can, and should, do better for our students in the future,” said Lee Goldman, whose plans as dean include augmenting the endowment to bolster scholarships and financial aid and creating a new education and student life building.
“Dr. Goldman has a wonderful vision to place P&S among the top five medical schools in the nation,” said Associate Dean and Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Development Anke Nolting, Ph.D. “The driving force of our alumni family will provide the momentum for making his vision a reality. Our alumni care deeply about Columbia, about health care, and about our students and have a strong desire to leave a lasting mark on the medical college.”
The leadership behind the campaign’s success is the steering committee: Robert O. Baratta’66, Stanley Edelman’53, Richard A. Elias’55 (co-chair), Kenneth A. Forde’59 (honorary chair), Andrew Gibson Frantz’55, Marc D. Grodman’77, Burton J. Lee III’56, William M. Manger’46, W. Jost Michelsen’63, Thomas Q. Morris’58, Donald O. Quest’70, Alfred L. Scherzer’63, Richard J. Stock’47 (chair), Judith Sulzberger’49 (honorary chair), P. Roy Vagelos’54 (CUMC campaign chair), George A. Violin’67, Ralph N. Wharton’57, and Clyde Wu’56 (honorary chair).
Alumni participation in the campaign will go far toward securing the P&S tradition of excellence in education as the school continues to produce innovators in medicine and research. Many giving opportunities are available for alumni who wish to create their own legacy at P&S. In addition to scholarships, alumni can support young and mid-career faculty members through endowed assistant professorships. Because many P&S alumni have expressed interest in making gifts through their estate plans, the P&S Legacy Challenge was created with the support of several anonymous alumni. For a limited time, P&S alumni and their spouses who make planned gift commitments to P&S between $30,000 and $1 million, designated for scholarships, are eligible for the P&S Legacy Challenge. This new initiative will provide one matching dollar for every three committed through a planned gift to create a named scholarship in honor of the donor. The P&S Legacy Challenge provides an extraordinary opportunity for alumni to help current students and provide a legacy of support for P&S.
Gifts may be made by check or credit card, transfer of stock or real estate, or through planned or deferred giving. To learn more, contact the Office of Development, P&S Alumni Campaign, 630 W. 168th St., P&S 2-421, New York, NY 10032, call 212-304-7200, or go online at www.giving.columbia.edu.
Rx for Travel
Greenwich Village: Take a Walk on the Wild Side
By Peter Wortsman
Few know that when they walk through Washington Square, the fabled green in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village immortalized by Henry James in a novel of the same name, they are walking on bones. Long before the landmark townhouses now owned by New York University went up on the northern edge, the park was a potter’s field in the shadow of a municipal gallows. A tree known as Hangman’s Elm still towers over the northwest corner. The Square is currently laid bare by a renovation project with bulldozers plowing through the past.
The Manahata Tribe called the area radiating round the park Sapokanikan (tobacco field). The Dutch dubbed it
Noortwyck. The English renamed it Greenwich Village. Once an independent hamlet to the north of New York City, its population swelled with New Yorkers fleeing the yellow fever epidemic of 1822. A sense of independence survived, thanks to building ordinances that forbade skyscrapers and the influx of artists and literati attracted by its charm and cheap rents. In 1949 émigré painter Marcel Duchamp and his friends let loose balloons from the Washington Square Arch, declaring the surrounding cluster of twisted streets “The Independent Republic of Greenwich Village.”
|Washington Square Park
A bastion of bohemia, The Village, as it’s popularly known, was the sometime stomping ground of Edgar Allen Poe, who vented his spleen in “The Cask of Amontillado,” penned on Third Street, and was treated for a winter cold at the Northern Dispensary, a small triangular orange brick clinic serving the working poor, still standing, albeit defunct, at the fork of Christopher and Grove streets. Mark Twain and Emma Lazarus (whose poem “The New Colossus” graces the base of the Statue of Liberty) plied their pens on 10th Street. e.e. cummings famously dispensed with capital letters at Patchin Place. Dylan Thomas dreamed, drank, and died at the White Horse Inn, a popular watering hall still pouring drinks on Hudson Street. Beat poets Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and friends reclaimed the countercultural heritage in the late 1950s. And the folk revival of the 1960s was jump-started and strummed by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Dave Van Ronk, and others at music clubs still hopping on Bleecker Street.
The Village was also the incubator for various political and social avant-gardes, including the radical coterie around writer John Reed (immortalized in the movie “Reds”) and the Gay Liberation Movement symbolically launched in 1969 when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street, rioted to protest a police raid. Pop Artist George Segal’s life-sized sculpture “Gay Liberation” stands in the park across the street.
St. Vincent’s Hospital on 13th Street, a teaching hospital founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1849, was one of the first institutions to treat HIV and AIDS in the 1980s.
In recent years, skyrocketing real estate prices have scattered artists and bohemians to the far-flung corners of the outer boroughs, but the neighborhood’s feel of an enchanted elsewhere survives. The charms of The Village can best be savored on evening strolls through its winding tree-lined streets. Precious pockets of the past include MacDougal Alley, allegedly the last street to be lit by gas lamps; Washington Mews, a string of erstwhile stables now part of NYU; and Grove Court, the setting of O’Henry’s story, “The Last Leaf.” For more information on The Village and other New York City neighborhoods, visit http://nycvisit.com.
Alumni Reunion Weekend
Alumni Day Scientific Session
Alumni Day Program chairman Andrew G. Frantz’55 opened the scientific session by welcoming to the podium Gerard M. Turino’48, the 2008 Honorary Alumni Day Chair. A nationally recognized leader in the basic and clinical scientific study of lung disease, Dr. Turino is the John H. Keating Professor Emeritus of Medicine at P&S and chairman emeritus of the Department of Medicine at the Columbia affiliate, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was founding director of the Mara Lung Center. Dr. Turino’s earliest studies focused on cellular and biochemical predispositions to lung injury, specifically the role of connective tissue elements in pulmonary mechanics. He helped demonstrate the potency of elastases in degrading the elastic matrix of the lung and was a major contributor to the protease anti-protease imbalance hypothesis as a cause for parenchymal destruction in pulmonary emphysema. His more recent research on animal models has led to the development of a promising potential therapy for pulmonary emphysema. A past president of the American Thoracic Society, he was the recipient of countless honors, including the 2003 Edward Livingston Trudeau (P&S 1871, MS 1899, Hon. D.’13) Medal of the American Thoracic Society and the P&S Alumni Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievements in Medicine.
The following papers were presented:
“The Diversity of Escherichia Coli Infections: Molecular Mechanisms, Clinical Outcomes, Future Therapies,” Michael S. Donnenberg’83, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine “Improving the
Treatment of Depression: Results and Implications of the STAR*D Trial,” A. John Rush’68, professor of psychiatry and clinical science, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas “Antiphospholipid Syndrome Revisited: A Disorder Initiated by Inflammation,” JaneSalmon’78, professor of medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College “Corneal Transplants-Past, Present and Future,” George J. Florakis’83, clinical professor of ophthalmology, P&S “How Should a Modern Medical Library Act?” Donald A. Lindberg’58, director, National Library of Medicine, former clinical professor of pathology, University of Virginia “Orphans and Vulnerable Children in the Urban Slums of Africa,” John R. Bryant’53, former dean, Columbia University School of Public Health, and former Joseph R. Delamar Professor of Public Health “A Pre-Hippocratic Atlas of Wounds and Wound Healing,” Horton A. Johnson’53, retired professor of pathology, P&S “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: There’s Hope on the Horizon,” Gerard M. Turino’48, the John H. Keating Professor Emeritus of Medicine, P&S
|2008 Honorary Alumni Day Chairman Gerard M. Turino’48
P&S alumni from anniversary classes reunited at venues around town, most of the parties evenly divided between the Cosmopolitan and the Harmonie clubs. The Class of 1948 gathered at the Century Club and the Classes of 1993 and 2003 marked the moment in familiar climes at the Donald F. Tapley Faculty Club on the CUMC campus, where they had officially been welcomed years before at receptions for incoming students.
|Thomas Q. Morris’58, Dean Lee Goldman, and Sheldon H. Cherry’58
“Time is the longest distance between two places,” wrote playwright Tennessee Williams. Tell that to the members of the Class of 1958 who leapt 50 years in a single bound at the Harmonie Club, reconnecting with their shared past. Most of them are still busy doing what they love best: practicing and teaching medicine and pursuing medical research. Howard Roffwarg’58 flew in from Jackson, Miss., where he is professor of psychiatry at the University of Mississippi.
He runs a research lab, studying the role of REM sleep in the development of the brain. His one concession to seniority is passing on the directorship of the Sleep Disorder Center. He and his wife, Joy, have a son, Samuel, age 8. Gerard Kaiser came up from Miami, where he is chief medical officer for the Jackson Memorial Health System. A cardiac and thoracic surgeon, he taught on the faculty at P&S and at the University of Miami School of Medicine before making the transition to full-time administration. Harry Delany, a general surgeon and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, had less of a distance to travel but was no less excited: “It’s nice to see some buddies from the old days.” Stanley Korenman, professor of medicine at UCLA, teaches research ethics. “I’m still working real hard,” Dr. Korenman, an endocrinologist, affirmed. Fellow California resident, Byong Kim, a pulmonologist, is based in San Diego. A native of Korea, Dr. Kim recalls the experience of having been the only foreign student in his class. He had already started medical school in
Korea. Stephen Malawista is professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Malawista, who discovered Lyme disease and the Lyme vaccine, received the P&S Alumni Gold Medal in 2006. For another illustrious member of the class, Donald Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine, in town with his wife, Mary, the 50th class reunion mingled memories of medicine and romance. Mrs. Lindberg, a Columbia School of Nursing graduate who ran the treatment room in the Vanderbilt Pediatric Clinic when the Class of 1958 rotated through, recalled her first encounter with her husband-to-be, “this very tall, handsome medical student,” over the blood tests of a patient. “We just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.”
|Donald’58 and Mary Lindberg at Class of 1958 reunion
Dean’s Day Program
After a welcome from Dean Lee Goldman, Kenneth Forde’59 officiated as master of ceremonies for the Dean’s Day Program.
Award to Pioneering African-American Transplant Surgeon
The 2008 Virginia Kneeland Frantz’22 Distinguished Women in Medicine Award went to Velma Scantlebury’81, professor of surgery and associate dean for community education at the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile. Dr. Scantlebury, past director of kidney transplantation there, was the first African-American woman transplant surgeon in the country. The award was presented by her classmate Rita Louard’81, associate professor of clinical medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “For me this is a particularly delicious moment,” said Dr. Louard, “in that I get to celebrate a friendship over three decades and to honor a woman I have long admired.” Pointing out the similarities between Dr. Scantlebury and the late Dr. Kneeland Frantz, a distinguished professor of surgery at P&S, she added that both women faced hurdles and “pursued a path less traveled.” Dr. Scantlebury, a native of the Caribbean island nation of Barbados, remarked: “It has been a long road since medical school. Seeing a fellow Barbadian, Dr. Forde, and all that he has accomplished, I felt I could do it too!” Dr. Scantlebury, who has performed more than 200 living donor kidney transplants and more than 800 cadaveric donor transplants in children and adults, as well as countless other complicated organ transplants, was the subject of an alumni profile in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of P&S.
|2008 Virginia Kneeland Frantz’22 Distinguished Women in Medicine Award recipient Velma Scantlebury’81 with Dean Lee Goldman and Rita Louard’81
MDs Concertize and Harmonize
documentary he produced on music and healing. Perhaps the most memorable moment in the film was when Dr. Wong performed Bach on a piano in the OR while a surgeon performed surgery on a patient, the first documented experiment of music performed in the OR. Recalling that the earliest record of musical therapy is the biblical account of David playing his harp to soothe the nerves of the troubled King Saul, Dr. Wong suggested that “music can be the most powerful and effective medicine.” In the course of his career Dr. Wong has harnessed the power of music in rehabilitating stroke victims, evoking memories, and alleviating pain.
Matt Tomey’08 and Leela Joshi’08, two members of the Bard Hall Players, the P&S answer to Broadway, kicked off the morning program, “A Musical Salute to Medicine,” with “Wunderbar,” a rousing number from the musical “Kiss Me Kate.” The two graduating seniors captured the moment with the chemistry of their performance.
The first keynote speaker, Dr. Samuel Wong, an ophthalmic surgeon in private practice who did his house staff training at P&S, spoke on “Musical Healing Powers.” Also a symphony conductor, he combined his two passions, music and medicine, as the founding president of the Global Music Healing Institute. Dr. Wong showed excerpts from a
Shanti Serdy’98, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and virtuoso violinist, performed portions of the “Violin Sonata in G Minor” by J.S. Bach. Next up, Lamont Barlow’09, a member of the P&S Musicians Guild, riveted the audience’s attention from the very first note of his powerful rendition of “Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 1” by Sergei Prokofiev.
Back by popular demand, the Apgar Memorial String Quartet, under the direction of Nicholas Cunningham, M.D., MPH, stroked P&S medical and musical history on string instruments built by the late Virginia Apgar’33, renowned anesthesiologist and inventor of the APGAR Score for evaluating the physical condition of newborn infants. The Quartet’s revolving membership includes faculty and students.
Instrumentalists John Austin, M.D., Marc Bastuscheck, Ph.D., Dr. Cunningham, Albert Novikoff, Ph.D., and Arnold Simmel, Ph.D., performed George Onslow’s “Bullet” quintet.
Exercising their vocal cords, the Ultrasounds, the student a capella group, sang three numbers from their repertoire, including “Good ol’ A Cappella.”
Following intermission, pianist June Wu’96, assistant professor of surgery at P&S, and violist John Austin, professor of radiology at P&S, played the “First Movement of the Viola Sonata (Op. 120, No. 1)” by Johannes Brahms. And singer-songwriter-medical student Scott Fruhan’10 performed his own composition, “Yellow Shoes,” dedicating the performance to Kathy Couchells, former director of alumni relations, who in her retirement planned this year’s reunion weekend.
The celebrated neurologist and bestselling author, Oliver Sacks, M.D., who recently joined the Columbia faculty as professor of neurology and psychiatry, wrapped up the morning program with the second keynote address on “Musicophilia: Clinical Tales of Music and the Brain,” the title of his recent book. “I’m going to talk as a physician today who has been concerned with music one way or another with his patients. Mostly music is delicious and puts us in a good mood. But sometimes the imagery of music can go wrong and become unstoppable.” Dr. Sacks described cases of musical obsession in which certain tunes literally take over consciousness, calling it “musical imagery which has gone berserk.” One of his patients described the endless loop of a rather banal tune as his “intracranial jukebox.” On the brighter side, however, Dr. Sacks said “musical memory does not seem to be affected by amnesia and dementia.”
At a luncheon at the Donald F. Tapley Faculty Club, English Sticky Toffee Pudding with Fig Armagnac Ice Cream was whipped up by master dessert chef Thomas Lo’08 and wines were selected to accompany each course by P&S resident oenophile Dr. Norman Kahn. Dr. Lo, who took a break between college and medical school to pursue his culinary passion at the French Culinary Institute, founded An-aesthetic Cuisine (he can be reached for catering at ThomaseLo@yahoo.com). He is the special events chef at Graffiti Food and Wine Bar in New York. He will be training in anesthesiology at Columbia.
Gala Dinner-Dance at Tavern on the Green
Graduating seniors and their dates joined forces with 25th and 50th anniversary class members and their significant others at the New York landmark restaurant Tavern on the Green for the 149th annual Alumni Gala Reception and Dinner Dance. From cocktails in the garden on the edge of Central Park, festivities moved into a glasshouse setting for the dinner dance and awards ceremony.
Master of ceremonies Kenneth Forde’59 addressed the graduates: “We welcome you, the Class of 2008, into the fold of the P&S Alumni Association.” Class of 1958 chair Sheldon Cherry spoke on behalf of the 50th anniversary class. He reminded the newly minted M.D.s how different medicine looked in his day. “In 1958 there were no organ transplants, no birth control pills, no HMOs, no MRIs…but we did have Virginia Apgar’33, Dana Atchley, Robert Loeb.”
The Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievements in Medicine was awarded to Jay Levy’65. Co-discoverer of the AIDS virus, Dr. Levy also developed heat treatment as a method of inactivating the virus in clotting factor preparations and was the first to report its presence in brain and bowel cells. Professor of medicine and director of the Laboratory for Tumor and AIDS Virus Research at the UC-San Francisco School of Medicine, Dr. Levy is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and 13 books, including the seminal work “HIV and the Pathogenesis of AIDS.”
|Honors and Award Committee chairman Kenneth Forde’59 (left) and Dean Lee Goldman (second from right) with 2008 Gold Medal recipients Marvin M. Lipman’54, Jason Sulkowski’08, and Jay Levy’65
|The Class of 2008 takes the dance floor by storm
John B. Mulliken’64, a renowned pediatric plastic surgeon, received the Gold Medal for Excellence in Clinical Medicine. Professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and director of the Craniofacial Centre at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Mulliken is best known for a single-stage procedure he devised to repair bilateral complete cleft lip and nasal deformity. He was also a member of the Harvard team that developed a technique of using specially treated bone powder to help the body regenerate damaged or congenitally misshapen bone tissue. He was co-founder and past president of the International Society of Vascular Anomalies.
Marvin M. Lipman’54 was awarded the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service to the College of Physicians and Surgeons and its Alumni Association. A respected endocrinologist with a private practice in Westchester County, Dr. Lipman is clinical professor of medicine at New York Medical College, chief medical adviser of the Consumers Union, and medical editor of Consumer Reports. As chairman of his P&S class for three decades and counting, he made fundraising history by spurring his classmates to 100 percent participation in their 50th anniversary campaign. An active member of the Alumni Association, he has served several terms as a director and been an active participant in the Student/Alumni Relations Committee.
Carlton Prickett’08 and Jason Sulkowski’08 shared the Gold Medal to Graduates in Recognition of Interest in and Devotion to the College of Physicians and Surgeons and its Alumni Association.
Alumni Association Activities
The dinner speaker at the council dinner in March was Ron Cohen’81, president, CEO, and founder of Acorda Therapeutics Inc., a public biotechnology company developing therapies for spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders of the central nervous system. Having observed the “dramatic progress in certain areas of neuroscience that were not being tapped by industry,” Dr. Cohen decided to fill the medical market void. Founded in 1995 as what he described as a “virtual company, i.e. me and my laptop in my second bedroom,” Acorda went public in February 2006 and currently occupies offices in Hawthorne, N.Y., with a staff of 147. The company has a drug in the market, Zanaflex, for the symptomatic relief of spasticity suffered in various kinds of CNS injuries, earning $48 million in sales last year. Another drug, Fampridine SR, a sustained release tablet, the only known compound to improve neurological function in MS, is soon to be released. Three other drugs are under way in the preclinical pipeline. Dr. Cohen sees his company as a bridge between academia and industry and as an effective model for others. He hopes that P&S will be in the forefront of educating clinician-scientists on how to work with industry. “Today’s medical training,” he insists, “should include exposure to the principles of industrial drug development.” He suggested, furthermore, that people from industry should be brought in to teach medical students. Dr. Cohen is chairman emeritus of the board of the New York Biotechnology Association. He is a member of the Columbia-Presbyterian Health Sciences Advisory Council.
Parents’ Day Program
On April 12, 2008, the proud progenitors, loved ones, and significant others of P&S students packed Alumni Auditorium for a privileged peek at medical student life. Outgoing P&S Alumni Association president Jacqueline A. Bello’80 introduced Dean Lee Goldman for welcoming remarks. It was a three-act program, with members of the administration, the faculty, and the student body offering diverse perspectives. The dean’s office was represented by Lisa A. Mellman, M.D., senior associate dean for student affairs; Andrew G. Frantz’55, associate dean for admissions; Hilda Y. Hutcherson, M.D., associate dean for diversity; Ronald E. Drusin’66, associate dean for education; and Ellen Spilker, director of student financial planning. Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of clinical medicine, described the Narrative Medicine program, which she founded. Paul Lee, M.D., assistant clinical professor of medicine, spoke on “The Residency Selection Process.” The most inspirational part of the program came from the students themselves. Graduating senior Eric Black’08 described the ups and downs of “The P&S Experience: from Orientation to Graduation.” Hadi Halazun’09 and Daniel Stephens’09 elaborated on the amazing variety of extracurricular activities offered under the umbrella of the P&S Club. Louisa Canham’10 took her audience on a thrilling virtual journey in “A Medical Student’s Excursion to an HIV Clinic in Lima.” And Christopher Hale’09 described the important work of CoSMO, the student-run medical outreach program to the Washington Heights community. The student a capella group, the Ultrasounds, sang at lunch at the Bard Hall Dining Room. The program included a tour of the medical center campus.
By Marianne Wolff’52
Class of 1948
See Alumni in Print to read about a book, “I Only Dress the Wounds: Notes of a Country Doctor,” by Ted Merrill.
Gerard M. Turino was Honorary Alumni Day Chair at this year’s alumni reunion weekend and he gave a presentation at the scientific session.
Class of 1949
The Society for Hospital and Resources Exchange, “SHARE,” founded by Martha “Bobbie” MacGuffie in 1988, honored its founder on the occasion of her retirement in March 2008. Originally a surgeon, particularly interested in burn reconstruction, Bobbie spent time in Africa, where she helped build hospitals, clinics, clean water systems, sanitation projects; sponsored the building of an orphanage; and pioneered projects for treatment of malaria, polio, sleeping sickness, and schistosomiasis. She has received numerous awards, including the Lions Club International Humanitarian Award, the Helen Hayes MacArthur Award, and the Virginia Kneeland Frantz Award from P&S.
Class of 1953
John R. Bryant gave a presentation at alumni reunion weekend.
Horton A. Johnson gave a presentation at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1954
Marvin M. Lipman received an award at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1957
See Alumni in Print to read about a book, “Freedom to Choose: How to Make End-of-Life Decisions on Your Own Terms,” by George M. Burnell.
Class of 1958
Donald A. Lindberg gave a presentation at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1964
John B. Mulliken received an award at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1965
Jay Levy received an award at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1967
The 2007 State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service went to Marcia Gerber, who has been affiliated with SUNY Downstate Medical Center for more than 40 years.
Class of 1968
John Rush gave a presentation at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1974
|L. Dade Lunsford’74
The 2008 Castle and Connolly Physician of the Year Award for Clinical Excellence was given to L. Dade Lunsford, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and Stanley Chang, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at P&S (Dr. Chang’s recognition was noted in the Spring/Summer 2008 issue, P&S). These classmates represent two of the three awardees in this category; they were selected from among 600,000 physicians currently practicing in the United States. Nominations were sought from leaders at top U.S. medical centers and specialty hospitals, as well as from physicians profiled in Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors publications.
Class of 1975
Director of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital David P. Roye Jr. is also chief medical director of the Children of China Pediatric Foundation. Every year since 1998 this foundation has sent a team of physicians from Morgan Stanley to China to correct birth defects and disabilities of children in Chinese orphanages. The team includes nurses, technicians, and volunteers; surgeons on the team specialize in pediatric, plastic, and urological surgery. They have done hundreds of cases, treating spina bifida, polio, cerebral palsy, cleft lip and palate, strabismus, webbed hands, and club feet. In addition, the Worldwide Edition of Strathmore’s “Who’s Who” has named Dave the “Professional of the Year” for his “outstanding contributions and demonstrated leadership in his field.” His main interests are in idiopathic scoliosis and other spinal disorders. He has authored numerous articles and textbooks, sits on editorial committees, and has lectured all over the world. He also serves as CEO of International Healthcare Leadership. He is the St. Giles Professor of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at P&S.
Class of 1976
See Alumni in Print to read about “The Business of Healthcare” in three volumes by Kenneth Cohn.
|Jerome Groopman’76 at this year’s P&S commencement
Jerome Groopman was speaker at the 2008 P&S commencement. See Alumni in Print to read about his latest book, “How Doctors Think.”
Class of 1977
Peter Doubilet and his wife, Carol Benson, have published a book titled “Your Developing Baby: Conception to Birth” The co-authors are both M.D.s (Carol went to the University of Pennsylvania); both are radiologists, specializing in obstetric ultrasound at Brigham & Women’s Hospital; both are full professors at Harvard Medical School. Between them they have five children, the last two of whom just went off to college.
Class of 1978
Added to her numerous past awards, Jane Salmon received one of two Carol Nachman prizes for 2007, the most prestigious international award for rheumatology research. It recognizes her innovative research into the pathogenesis of organ damage in systemic lupus erythematosus and other disorders of the immune system. Previous awards include the Henry Christian Award for Excellence in Research from the American Federation for Clinical Research, the Dr. Edmond L. Dubois Memorial Lectureship Award from the American College of Rheumatology, the Eric Bywaters Memorial Lectureship, and the Theodore E. Woodward Award of the American Climatological Association. Jane is professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. She holds the Collette Kean Research Chair at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, where she is also senior scientist. She sits on the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and is co-editor of Arthritis and Rheumatism. She also gave a presentation at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1980
A building in Nigeria was named for Natalia Kanem in May 2008 to recognize her work in the Women’s Action Research Centre in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. She is the president of ELMA Philanthropic Services. Natalia was formerly a senior director of the Ford Foundation. In addition to her M.D. from P&S, she holds an M.P.H. from the University of Washington. Her current work concentrates on promoting the social development and well-being of women in Nigeria.
Class of 1981
Velma Scantlebury received an award at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1983
Michael S. Donnenberg gave a presentation at alumni reunion weekend.
George J. Florakis gave a presentation at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1984
A survey conducted by “Florida Super Doctors” asked respondents “If you needed medical care, which doctor would you choose?” Among their answers was Arnon Krongrad, whose forte is laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. Arnon considers prostate cancer to be a public health issue and hopes it will be addressed by politicians.
Class of 1987
Michael Rosenberg, attending plastic surgeon at Northern Westchester Hospital, has been elected president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. He is also a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps and serves as a trustee at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Class of 1989
Cathy Lee Mendelsohn, who received her Ph.D. in microbiology from Columbia, has been promoted to associate professor of urological sciences, with tenure, at P&S; her appointment spans the departments of urology and pathology and the Institute of Human Nutrition. Her areas of special interest lie in the formation and development of the urological system and urological malformations in animals and humans. Cathy Lee has completed fellowships at the Universite Louis Pasteur and at Columbia.
Class of 1991
See Alumni in Print to read about a book, “Do You Feel Like You Wasted All That Training?: Questions from Doctors Considering a Career Change,” by Michael J. McLaughlin.
Class of 1996
June Wu gave a performance at alumni reunion weekend.
Class of 1998
Shanti Serdy gave a performance at alumni reunion weekend. See Page 41.
Class of 2003
The awardee of the 2008 American Society of Transplantation’s Astellas Clinical Science Fellowship Grant, awarded at the American Transplant Congress’ annual meeting in July, was Deirdre Sawinski.
|New York’s 2008 “Best Doctors”
Of the 1,434 physicians and surgeons named to New York magazine’s list of the Best Doctors 2008, 22 percent are affiliated with Columbia University as faculty, P&S alumni, or house staff alumni: 192 faculty members, 110 house staff alumni, and 123 P&S alumni.
The full list is available online at www.cumc.columbia.edu/news/journal/alumni_news_extra/
Alumni in Print
Freedom to Choose: How to Make End-of-Life Decisions on Your Own Terms
George M. Burnell’57
Baywood Publishing Company, 2008
nspired by the case of Terri Schiavo, Dr. Burnell addresses how to make informed and effective decisions about end-of-life care. Individual stories demonstrate the kind of choices that can help one die peacefully and on one’s own terms. Although end-of-life care is increasingly controversial, the book remains non-political and sensitive to the needs and autonomy of the individuals involved in the dying process. With more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Burnell advises patients and their loved ones to “take the time to plan.”
Your Developing Baby: Conception to Birth
Peter M. Doubilet’77, Carol B. Benson, M.D., and Roanne Weisman
Harvard Medical School Guides, 2008
Dr. Doubilet’s book helps parents and family members know what to expect during pregnancy. The authors employ 2-D and 3-D ultrasound images, with accompanying diagrams, to explain the process of fetal development in clear and simple terms. Each section of the book focuses on a different aspect of pregnancy each of the three trimesters as well as what to expect with multiple pregnancies and various screening procedures for fetal and infant health. The last chapter describes the process of labor itself and what to expect during the first few days of an infant’s life. The book is geared toward a lay audience but also can be used by childbirth educators and clinicians involved in women’s health care.
How Doctors Think
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007
Dr. Groopman, a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, illuminates the thought process that physicians must go through when diagnosing and treating patients. Each chapter uses real examples to illustrate particular aspects of the medical decision-making process and to highlight the challenges, traps, and potential failures of the techniques medical students are taught. Dr. Groopman also offers suggestions for both patient and physician to change their dynamic and achieve better quality of care. This book offers intelligent questions patients can ask their doctors.
Do You Feel Like You Wasted All That Training?: Questions from Doctors Considering a Career Change
Michael J. McLaughlin’91
Physician Renaissance Network, 2007
In his book, Dr. McLaughlin discusses the implications of a career change for physicians. He combines personal experience and advice to help the reader navigate the five phases of career change: introspection, exploration, preparation, acquisition, and transition. “Stepping out of a clinical career path can open up an endless set of options with no road map a seemingly daunting proposition for the physician mindset,” Dr. McLaughlin says. He uses his book to make this transition less daunting. Dr. McLaughlin evaluates several questions about a career transition and the accompanying advantages and disadvantages.
I Only Dress the Wounds: Notes of a Country Doctor
Homeostasis Press 2005
Dr. Merrill’s book is more than a nostalgic memoir of 50 years of medicine, alternating between general practice and hospital emergency departments. In anecdotes, narrative, and brief essays, Dr. Merrill gives an intimately personal picture of medical education, doctor-patient relations, issues of trust and responsibility, conflicting philosophies and points of view, excursions into other cultures, and the rapid changes technological, economic, political, and bureaucratic of the health care field in the last half of the 20th century.
The Business of Healthcare
Volume 1: Practice Management
Volume 2: Leading Healthcare Organizations
Volume 3: Improving Systems of Care
Kenneth Cohn’76 and Douglas E. Hough, Ph.D.
Praeger Perspectives/Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007
The rapid pace of change in the healthcare industry is creating
turbulence for just about everyone. In each of this set’s three volumes, The authors untangle the complexity, provide answers to knotty questions, and point the way toward better healthcare for all. Features include commentary, prescriptions, and insights from leaders in the healthcare industry, including physicians, attorneys, administrators, educators, and business consultants. The result: a landmark set filled with provocative analysis and practical recommendations destined to improve the delivery of healthcare.