At the March 21, 2012, council dinner, Alumni Association director Elizabeth Williams saluted Marianne Wolff'52, an indomitable alumni volunteer. "She is more faithful than a postman. Through rain, sleet, and snow she comes to the alumni office. She works tirelessly editing class notes, class newsletters, and any other needs that we have. So, Dr. Wolff, we just want to say a big thank you from the Alumni Office." Invited to the podium, Dr. Wolff responded: "P&S helped me in many ways, including financially, during my studies. And I always said to myself, 'One of these days I'm going to repay them.' And this is it. Now that I'm retired, I'm giving of my time and whatever talents I may have, giving back to P&S. And I love doing it. It gives me great joy. I love staying in touch with the school. And it's very nice to be needed."
The evening's guest speaker, psychiatry resident and bestselling novelist Josh Bazell'06 delivered a tongue-in-cheek account of "Recent Advances in Medical Care," or, rather, a snapshot of the world according to Josh Bazell. His first novel, "Beat the Reaper," was on the New York Times bestseller list and is being developed for a series on HBO. He recently published a second novel, "Wild Thing." Part stand-up comic, part psychiatrist on the couch, Dr. Bazell drew frequent bursts of laughter with his deadpan delivery and dry wit. "I often get asked by potential applicants to med school, was it difficult starting med school at age 31? The answer is no. What was difficult was starting eighth grade at age 22. I did manage to graduate and I also wrote a couple of books. I thought that if I take my experiences in medicine and wrap them in a narrative, then someone would explain to me what the phrase narrative medicine means."
20th Annual Parents' Day Program
For two decades and counting, the P&S Parents' Day Program has provided the unsung heroes – parents and significant others of current and prospective students – a privileged peek at what medical school is all about. On April 21, 2012, P&S administrators, faculty, and students took to the stage of the P&S Alumni Auditorium to tell it like it is. P&S Alumni Association president Donald O. Quest'70 introduced Dean Lee Goldman, who welcomed loved ones and significant others to the adventure of medical study. Administrators rounded out the picture. Lisa A. Mellman, M.D., senior associate dean of students, spoke of the richness of student life. Stephen Nicholas, M.D., associate dean for admissions, the gatekeeper of the academic enterprise, reported on a record number of applicants and the stellar qualities of those accepted. Hilda Y. Hutcherson, M.D., associate dean for diversity, spoke of progress in recruiting minority students. Ronald E. Drusin'66, vice dean for education, described the new P&S curriculum. And Ellen Spilker, director of financial planning, explained how the medical school does its best to ease the burden of paying for a top-notch education. Representing the faculty, Paul Lee, assistant clinical professor of medicine, summed up what awaited students in the residency selection process. Current members of each class chimed in to provide the student perspective, from academics to clinical to extracurricular activities. The student a capella group, "The Ultrasounds," provided lunchtime entertainment with a medley of vocal classics.
Pizza with Retired Merck CEO
On March 27, 2012, more than 70 students from all four classes turned out to meet and chat informally over pizza with one of America's great biomedical scientists turned businessmen, P. Roy Vagelos'54. Retired CEO of Merck & Co., the pharmaceutical giant he helped lead to record success, and an authority on lipids and enzymes, Dr. Vagelos is chairman of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, chairman of the CUMC Board of Visitors, and chairman of the medical center's capital campaign. He spoke about his life and his life's work and signed copies of his memoir, "Medicine, Science and Merck."