Douglas Berv, B.A. ’70, M.D. ’74, rang in his 45th class reunion as a recipient of the School of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award. Berv graduated cum laude from the College, and currently runs a psychiatric practice in Hamden, Connecticut.
During his time in medical school, Berv witnessed great distress in the community in New Haven. “It was a very tumultuous time,” Berv said. “I and my classmates wanted to help society, and we wanted to do it now.” It was the height of the Vietnam war, there was political disruption, and crime was prevalent.
Berv and a group of his fellow classmates helped by Morris Dillard, MD, established the first free healthcare clinic in New Haven, called the Bobby Seale Free Health Clinic. The clinic was popular in the community and “it served as a very important demonstration project for the need for free a or low-cost healthcare clinic,” Berv said. Shortly afterward, the Fairhaven Free Health Clinic was established.
After graduation Berv interned at the University of Pennsylvania before returning to Yale to complete his psychiatry residency where he was Chief Resident at Yale New Haven Hospital.
Berv credits the Yale System for fostering curiosity, innovation, and encouraging teamwork. In addition to his practice and teaching at the Medical School, Berv is a member of the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine (AYAM) and has served on the Executive Committee for the past decade. He is a co-chair of the AYAM Student Engagement Committee and advocates for the welfare of the students and connecting students with alumni. He recently launched an advisory program for international students. He advised two winning teams at the Healthcare Hackathon, and, along with fellow AYAM executive board members, he has championed the Yale System including a 2017 Yale System day-long Celebration and Conversation and an ongoing Storycorps project of recording video interviews of alumni talking about their experience with the Yale System.
“Everything the AYAM does is to benefit the school and the students. The best part about the AYAM is meeting wonderful people working on great projects,” Berv said.
Berv added that while he is proud of all of his professional accomplishments, his greatest accomplishment is his family. He is extremely grateful to his wife, Cheryl, and their two children David and Julia, for all the support and love they have given him.