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A modest man remembered

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2012 - Autumn


Arthur Ebbert Jr., M.D., would by all accounts be embarrassed by the issue of Yale Medicine that you hold in your hands. His friends and colleagues remember Ebbert, who died on June 7, as unassuming, gracious, and modest—a man who preferred the background to the limelight. As our writer Natalie Villacorta interviewed people who knew Ebbert, time and again they cautioned that he would have eschewed such attention. We hope, however, that he would have appreciated this acknowledgement of his contributions to the School of Medicine and to this magazine, which he founded in 1953 as the Alumni Bulletin.

People remember Arthur Ebbert for who he was as much as for what he did. He seemed to know everything about the school, and everyone knew him and knew they could count on him. “ ‘Ask Art’ was the motto,” recalled John E. Fenn, M.D. ’61, HS ’67, clinical professor of surgery (vascular). “Anybody could approach (him) with any kind of problem, and if he didn’t solve it, he knew how to give you advice to go about seeking a solution.”

Ebbert felt that the school needed a publication that would keep alumni informed of relevant events, including new buildings on campus, advances in medicine and science, and new methods for teaching medical students. From 1953 until 1966 the magazine was an eight-page newsletter; then it adopted the magazine format you see today. In 1986, our current editor in chief, Michael Kashgarian, M.D. ’58, HS ’63, FW ’65, took on that post when Ebbert retired. Although we hadn’t heard the motto “Ask Art,” over the years we did indeed turn to him many times to learn aspects of the history of the medical school. He will be missed.

In this issue we also continue our series on alumni career paths with an article on those who have devoted significant portions of their careers to underserved communities around the world. As it happens, our two alumni profiles in this issue also focus on people who have spent time abroad.

We hope you enjoy our autumn issue.