Alumni

A doctor’s passion for medical storytelling

A doctor’s passion for medical storytelling

For a Yale alumna, the patient history and physical takes on a new narrative life in The New York Times.

Lisa Sanders, M.D. ’97, HS ’01, loves a good story and has built her career around her narrative skills, beginning with her early days in television and continuing through her subsequent decade in medicine. The form her tales have taken, however, has changed over the years.A few years ago, when an editor friend asked Sanders what she thought doctors could write about, her answer was that they write one thing and they write it every day: the history and physical. Her belief in the storytelling power of the H-and-P led to “Diagnosis,” a monthly column in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, about cases that stump doctors and how they are...

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 A gastroenterologist moves around the country and into a top job at UCSD

A gastroenterologist moves around the country and into a top job at UCSD

An academic journey that began at Yale’s Ezra Stiles College in 1971 has led David A. Brenner, M.D....

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A public health alumna brings social justice to the campaign for healthy food

A public health alumna brings social justice to the campaign for healthy food

Michele Simon, M.P.H. ’90, J.D., is incensed that businesses spend $36 billion annually “on...

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2007-2008 Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine

The Executive Committee of the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine directs association activities, links the School of Medicine with its graduates, and helps alumni stay in touch with Yale.

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Notes

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The Yale School of Medicine (YSM) Standardized Patient Program invites alumni, their families and other interested members of the medical school community to participate as standardized patients in clinical teaching programs for medical students. Standardized patients simulate real patients as they are interviewed and examined by medical students who are observed and supervised by physicians. Scripts for patient role playing and ample training will be provided. One- to two-hour teaching sessions are held on campus on certain weekdays. It is recommended that standardized patients participate in at least 10 sessions per year. A stipend is provided to cover such costs as parking and travel. If you are interested in contributing to the YSM educational program as a standardized patient, please contact the director, Frederick Haeseler, M.D., FW ’76, associate clinical professor, at frederick.haeseler@yale.edu.

1940s

B. Herold Griffith, M.D. ’48, HS ’50, presented a paper at a meeting of the Chicago Society of Medical History in December on “Johns Hopkins and the Revolution in American Medicine.” Griffith is professor emeritus of surgery and chief emeritus of plastic surgery at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.

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F. Carter Pannill Jr., M.D. ’45, was honored in October with the naming of the F. Carter Pannill Jr. M.D. Chair in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. Pannill was the founding dean of the medical school in 1965.

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On November 17 Samuel Ritvo, M.D. ’42, celebrated his 90th birthday at a gala at the New Haven Lawn Club co-sponsored by the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, which he helped found in 1954, and the Yale Child Study Center, where he has served on the faculty since 1950.

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1970s

Guthrie S. Birkhead, M.D. ’79, deputy commissioner of the Office of Public Health for the New York State Department of Health, received in March one of the 2008 Dr. Nathan Davis Awards for Outstanding Government Service from the American Medical Association (AMA). These national awards, named for the founder of the AMA, are presented to local, state and federal career and elected government...


Guthrie S. Birkhead, M.D. ’79, deputy commissioner of the Office of Public Health for the New York State Department of Health, received in March one of the 2008 Dr. Nathan Davis Awards for Outstanding Government Service from the American Medical Association (AMA). These national awards, named for the founder of the AMA, are presented to local, state and federal career and elected government officials in seven categories of public service. Birkhead’s award is in the category of “Career Public Servant at the State or Local Level.” He is the chief public health physician in the state health department, overseeing four public health centers and two public health offices.

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Robert L. Goldenberg, M.D., HS ’74, was appointed professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology by the University of Alabama (UAB) Board of Trustees on November 9. The board recognized Goldenberg for his 30 years of service. Since joining the faculty in 1976, Goldenberg has held a number of positions, including director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Health, director of the Center for...


Robert L. Goldenberg, M.D., HS ’74, was appointed professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology by the University of Alabama (UAB) Board of Trustees on November 9. The board recognized Goldenberg for his 30 years of service. Since joining the faculty in 1976, Goldenberg has held a number of positions, including director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Health, director of the Center for Obstetric Research, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Charles E. Flowers Endowed Professorship in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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Harry S. Romanowitz, M.D. ’73, has established the first freestanding independent pediatric urgent care center in Fairfield County, Conn., Firefly After Hours Pediatrics. Romanowitz is the medical director of the new facility, which is located in Stamford. He served more than 20 years as chair of pediatrics and pediatrician in chief at Stamford Hospital.

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Marc O. Yoshizumi, M.D. ’70, has retired after 29 years at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a professor of ophthalmology. He also served as director of the Eye Trauma and Emergency Center and of the Jules Stein Eye Institute’s Medical Student Education in Ophthalmology Program.

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1980s

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D. ’80, the Edward W.D. Norton Professor of Ophthalmology, was named interim chair of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which serves as the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His appointment began on November 1. Alfonso will also serve as director of Bascom Palmer’s patient care facilities. A 1984 graduate of the institute’s...


Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D. ’80, the Edward W.D. Norton Professor of Ophthalmology, was named interim chair of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which serves as the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His appointment began on November 1. Alfonso will also serve as director of Bascom Palmer’s patient care facilities. A 1984 graduate of the institute’s residency program, Alfonso has been on the faculty since 1986.

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Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D. ’80, the Edward W.D. Norton Professor of Ophthalmology, was named interim chair of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which serves as the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His appointment began on November 1. Alfonso will also serve as director of Bascom Palmer’s patient care facilities. A 1984 graduate of the institute’s...


Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D. ’80, the Edward W.D. Norton Professor of Ophthalmology, was named interim chair of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which serves as the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His appointment began on November 1. Alfonso will also serve as director of Bascom Palmer’s patient care facilities. A 1984 graduate of the institute’s residency program, Alfonso has been on the faculty since 1986.

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Idalia Ramos Sanchez, M.P.H. ’81, was named senior policy advisor of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) in February. The center is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sanchez will serve as the primary legislative liaison within the Division of Scientific Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, which coordinates the development of NCMHD’s strategic...


Idalia Ramos Sanchez, M.P.H. ’81, was named senior policy advisor of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) in February. The center is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sanchez will serve as the primary legislative liaison within the Division of Scientific Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, which coordinates the development of NCMHD’s strategic plan and is responsible for assessing and highlighting NIH’s efforts to eliminate health disparities. Sanchez has spent 25 years in public health; she began her career with the Department of Public Health in Hartford.

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James A. Talcott, M.D. ’80, M.P.H., and Nancy S. Knox were married on December 1 in New York City. Talcott is the director of the Center for Outcomes Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston. The center researches the effects of cancer and cancer therapy on patients in order to improve care and assess cancer-care technology. Nancy Talcott is a freelance writer and...


James A. Talcott, M.D. ’80, M.P.H., and Nancy S. Knox were married on December 1 in New York City. Talcott is the director of the Center for Outcomes Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston. The center researches the effects of cancer and cancer therapy on patients in order to improve care and assess cancer-care technology. Nancy Talcott is a freelance writer and researcher for magazine articles and documentaries in New York and Boston.

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1990s

M. Kathleen Figaro, M.D. ’96, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been chosen as one of four national fellows in health advocacy by Columbia University’s Center on Medicine as a Profession. As a fellow she will work to improve the quality and accessibility of health insurance for poor Tennesseans after Tenn-Care’s 2005 mass disenrollment. With her...


M. Kathleen Figaro, M.D. ’96, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been chosen as one of four national fellows in health advocacy by Columbia University’s Center on Medicine as a Profession. As a fellow she will work to improve the quality and accessibility of health insurance for poor Tennesseans after Tenn-Care’s 2005 mass disenrollment. With her husband, Alan Rice, she welcomed their first child, Victoria, on November 14.

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David John, M.D., HS ’90, was named director of emergency services at Caritas Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Mass., in November. John served for the past six years as the medical director of quality risk management and associate chair of the three emergency services departments at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Conn. He has served as the president of the Connecticut College of Emergency...


David John, M.D., HS ’90, was named director of emergency services at Caritas Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Mass., in November. John served for the past six years as the medical director of quality risk management and associate chair of the three emergency services departments at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Conn. He has served as the president of the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians, chair of the Quality Section Committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and chair of the Geriatrics Committee of the ACEP.

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Michael A. Joseph, M.P.H. ’96, Ph.D., and Lauretta Adwoa Larbi Ansah, M.P.H.,were married on November 9 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The ceremony was held at the Bedford Central Presbyterian Church, where Joseph and Ansah lead the HIV/AIDS ministry. The bride is a program analyst in the office of the inspector general at the Environmental Protection Agency’s program evaluation office in Manhattan. Joseph is...


Michael A. Joseph, M.P.H. ’96, Ph.D., and Lauretta Adwoa Larbi Ansah, M.P.H.,were married on November 9 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The ceremony was held at the Bedford Central Presbyterian Church, where Joseph and Ansah lead the HIV/AIDS ministry. The bride is a program analyst in the office of the inspector general at the Environmental Protection Agency’s program evaluation office in Manhattan. Joseph is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and a founder of the Black Young Professionals’ Public Health Network, an organization that works to increase opportunities for minority students in the field of public health.

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Samuel S. Myers, M.D. ’92, M.P.H., was elected in October to the board of directors of the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research organization. Myers is an instructor in medicine at the Harvard Medical School, where he recently completed a research fellowship in general internal medicine funded by the National Institutes of Health. For his fellowship he researched the role of patients’...


Samuel S. Myers, M.D. ’92, M.P.H., was elected in October to the board of directors of the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research organization. Myers is an instructor in medicine at the Harvard Medical School, where he recently completed a research fellowship in general internal medicine funded by the National Institutes of Health. For his fellowship he researched the role of patients’ expectations for improvement in their clinical outcomes. Myers was also senior director of the Healthy Communities Initiative at Conservation International, which addresses health, family planning and development needs of villagers living in priority conservation areas in the tropics.

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Scot Phelps, M.P.H. ’95, has joined Southern Connecticut State University as an associate professor of emergency management to create the first graduate-level emergency management program in the state. He recently helped Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand to assess a similar program. He will be speaking at the World Conference on Disaster Management this June in Toronto. He can be...


Scot Phelps, M.P.H. ’95, has joined Southern Connecticut State University as an associate professor of emergency management to create the first graduate-level emergency management program in the state. He recently helped Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand to assess a similar program. He will be speaking at the World Conference on Disaster Management this June in Toronto. He can be reached at phelpss1@Southernct.edu.

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2000s

Jonathan Erulkar, M.D. ’01, and Deirdre Carroll Erulkar, M.S.N. ’00, announced the birth of their second son, Benjamin Holder Erulkar, on May 18, 2007, in Boston. After completing a spine surgery fellowship there, Jonathan and family moved to Lake Forest, Ill., where Jonathan is a partner in the Bannockburn office of the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute.

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Katherine Van Loon, M.D., M.P.H. ’02, and Jonathan G. Steitz, J.D. ’07,were married on November 3 in Sea Island, Ga. Van Loon, who received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, is a second-year resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Steitz is the son of Joan A. Steitz, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and Thomas A. Steitz,...


Katherine Van Loon, M.D., M.P.H. ’02, and Jonathan G. Steitz, J.D. ’07,were married on November 3 in Sea Island, Ga. Van Loon, who received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, is a second-year resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Steitz is the son of Joan A. Steitz, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and Thomas A. Steitz, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and professor of chemistry. Steitz was drafted in 2001 by the Milwaukee Brewers as a pitcher, but his baseball career was ended by rotator cuff tendonitis in his right shoulder. He is now a consultant in Boston for McKinsey & Company, the management consultants.

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Christina Yuan, M.P.H. ’05, and Ali Kemal Ozturk, M.D. ’06, were married in Villanova, Penn., on November 3. Yuan is a research associate at the School of Public Health, and Ozturk is a resident in neurosurgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

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