Class of 1955: 55th reunion

At first, I was disappointed that we only had 13 members turn up for our 55th reunion. However, after some reflection, I realized that this was really a good turnout. Most members of our class are in their early 80s, and travel has gotten uncomfortable for many of us. Of the original 80 members, 24 have died. Many of the survivors (or their spouses) have illnesses which preclude travel. Those who were able to come had a wonderful time reflecting on their careers, children, and the opportunity to spend time with each other as if we had never parted.

On Friday, we had a mini-symposium with almost 100 percent attendance. Van Freeman presented an interesting paper on the serious problem of fraud and abuse of the Medicare system. He said there is an estimated annual loss of between $47 and $200 billion related to the problem. Fortunately, there is a federally funded program called the Senior Medicare Patrol. Anyone interested in information about this can get in touch with Van at: freetwoms@earthlink.net

Alan (Rocky) Stone presented a fascinating outline of the torture at Guantanamo and the legal/psychiatric aspects of it. A very lively discussion ensued. One thing, everyone seemed to agree with, was that doctors ethically should not have participated in the procedures.

Irwin Braverman gave a very exciting paper on his fascination with the strange occurrence of gynecomastia, elongated heads, and wide hips in the portrayal of the Egyptian dynasty of Akhenaten. At the present time he is engaged in a journalistic battle with some Egyptian authorities who do not like his observations. We are all rooting for Irwin.

The main event Saturday was the class dinner at the Union League Café.  Lively and raucous conversation ensued after a few drinks; but we were all well behaved.

On Sunday morning Shep Nuland and his wife, Sara, hosted a pleasant brunch at their home.

One thing that was very apparent to us all was that our small medical school has exploded into a very large enterprise with massive increases in plant and equipment, faculty, and influence in the scientific and practice aspects of medicine. The school is even more prestigious than ever with 4,000 applicants for the first-year class of only 100 positions. The students come from all over the world, making Yale a very cosmopolitan institution. Many of the students routinely take a fifth year for special projects or research. We can all puff out our chests and claim our heritage.

Members of the class who participated in one or more activities were: Ed Bittar, Irwin Braverman, Paddy Burns, Joe Camilleri, Van Freeman, James Garlington, Paul Gonick, Harry Kendall, Jack Landau, Shep Nuland, Bob Peters, Phil Smith, and Alan Stone.

—Jack Landau

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