0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Obituary |

Rufus Howard, MD FREE

Robert L. Lesser, MD
Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126(3):442. doi:10.1001/archopht.126.3.442.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

When Winston Churchill was once asked to say something nice about a colleague, he replied that he was a modest man with a lot to be modest about. Rufus Howard, MD, was a modest man, but he had nothing to be modest about. He grew up in his birthplace of Knoxville, Tennessee, and in Portsmouth, Virginia, before attending college at William and Mary and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Winner of spelling bees as a child, he first got a PhD in physical chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology before deciding to go to medical school.

Place holder to copy figure label and caption

Rufus Howard, MD

Graphic Jump Location

Dr Howard was the first Yale University ophthalmology resident under the chairmanship of Dr Marvin L. Sears. His residency was followed by an academic appointment and later a position as a clinical professor there. He was a gentle soul and a natural teacher. He was particularly interested in ophthalmic genetics, publishing more than 80 articles, many dealing with eye findings in various diseases, including trisomy 21, Werner syndrome, retinoblastoma, Leigh disease, and optic nerve aplasia. He also enjoyed being a member of the American Ophthalmological Society.

I had the privilege of knowing Rufus Howard first as a teacher and then as a colleague. I am sure I tested his patience when I did my first operation. He was always supportive, kind, and extraordinarily helpful and reassuring. I particularly remember spending time with him in the Genetics Clinic at Yale. Because of him, Yale residents saw many patients with fascinating eye findings, including Wilson disease, the mucopolysaccharidoses, Marfan syndrome, and homocystinuria.

He was scholarly and had a wonderful sense of humor. He and his wife of 52 years, Martha, raised 7 children, 4 of them during medical school. They also have 10 grandchildren. One daughter, Martha Howard, who was also trained at Yale, is now a pediatric ophthalmologist in Connecticut. I had the privilege of having her as my student and felt the pleasure of teaching from one generation to the next.

He told his children “to whom much is given, much is expected,” and this exemplified his mission approach to medicine. For more than 30 years, he provided eye care to mentally handicapped children in Southbury, Connecticut. He also enjoyed working at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, a Yale-affiliated hospital in Haiti, bringing his family with him. He loved sharing music, travel, hiking, outdoor activities, and his delicious baked desserts with his family. At his funeral, his 9-year-old granddaughter played the second movement from Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3, a moving and wonderful tribute to this exceptional person. We will miss him.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Correspondence: Dr Lesser, 40 Temple St, New Haven, CT 06510 (rlesser4@optonline.net).

Figures

Place holder to copy figure label and caption

Rufus Howard, MD

Graphic Jump Location

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

205 Views
0 Citations
×

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs