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14
2015

Orthopedic surgery resident follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, half a century later

William 'Bill' Daner III, M.D.

William “Bill” Daner III, M.D.

Although William “Bill” Daner III, M.D., never met his grandfather, he is often reminded that he is following in his footsteps.

Bill, a current resident in orthopedic surgery, became interested in surgery at a young age after hearing stories about his namesake, the first William Daner, who earned his M.D. from MCV in 1941 and later became an associate professor of orthopedic surgery with the School of Medicine. Training on the MCV Campus has provided Bill with more than an opportunity to pursue the same calling as his grandfather; it has given him the chance to get to know the man he never met.

Since coming to the MCV Campus, Bill has met several faculty members who are familiar with his grandfather’s reputation and career, and invariably they describe him as a quiet, well-respected and dedicated surgeon. Through these faculty members and some of his own research, Bill has learned a lot about his grandfather’s life and medical career.

Dr. Daner served with the medical corps in the Italian and North African theaters of World War II with the 45th General Hospital, an army hospital that was organized and staffed by doctors and nurses from MCV. After the war, the elder Daner returned home and completed his specialty training at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Hospital.

William Daner, Sr., M’41

William Daner, Sr., M’41

He went on to have a distinguished career in Richmond, where he served as an associate professor with MCV and as the chief of orthopedics at Johnston-Willis Hospital and the Crippled Children’s Hospital. He was also one of the founding members of the West End Orthopedic Clinic, now known as OrthoVirginia, a distinction that earns him a special place in central Virginia medical history. In an interesting parallel, one of the practice’s other founders, R.D. Butterworth, M’31, also has close relatives on the MCV Campus: John F. Butterworth IV, M’79, professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesia, whose father John F. Butterworth III, M’52, practiced with the West End Orthopedic Clinic beginning in 1957.

While former colleagues and family history helped relay the basic facts of his grandfather’s life, Bill’s time on the MCV Campus has given him the opportunity to see the first Dr. Daner from another perspective: that of his patients. On two separate occasions, says Bill, patients have recognized the name on his badge and connected him to his grandfather. Bill says that getting to care for these former patients has “made me feel closer to my grandfather.”

The patients told Bill that his grandfather was a “great physician” who was always considerate and kind. That sentiment was echoed by the Richmond Academy of Medicine’s comments on William Daner after his death in 1976: William Daner “was an outstanding diagnostician and skilled surgeon. He was a kind man, always considerate of the feeling and anxieties of his patients.”

For his part, Bill says he strives to live up to the reputation for skill and compassion that his grandfather built in the Richmond medical community and on the MCV Campus, a reputation that still exists almost 40 years after William Daner’s death.

By Jack Carmichael

14
2015

Class of 1975’s Bob Centor warns of wrong diagnoses and dangerously good limeade

Scientists from the symposium

Bob Centor, M’75 (center) was welcomed back to campus by Ed and Rose Marie Shaia. Ed Shaia and his brother Richard established the Harry and Zackia Shaia Lecture in 1965 in honor of their parents who owned the popular Skull and Bones restaurant that served the MCV Campus for so many years. In the 1940s, the couple turned it over to their sons.

For more than two decades, Bob Centor, M’75, says, the name Shaia meant one thing: “The best limeades in town.” It was his regular order when he’d stop in at the Shaia family’s popular Skull and Bones restaurant on the MCV Campus, first as a medical student and later as a faculty member.

Now dean for the Huntsville Regional Medical Campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Centor was back in town to speak as the guest lecturer at the annual Shaia Lectureship, the latest chapter in his long connection with the Shaia family.

“It was my favorite lunch spot for 22 years,” Centor said of the well-known eatery that closed in the mid-1990s after 74 years of feeding hungry medical students and doctors. After so many years of patronage, he joked, “In my own way I helped contribute to this lectureship.”

Centor took time at the beginning of his lecture to recognize some other notables who contributed to his time on campus, although their help focused more on the academic than the gastronomic. He said that Al Zfass, M’57, Reno Vlahcevic, M.D., Harold “Hal” Fallon, M.D. and Orhan Muren, M.D., were important mentors during his time here and helped shape the course of his career. Centor is a past president of the Society for Medical Decision Making, and currently serves on the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians.

The Shaia family has supported schools on the MCV Campus through the establishment of a number funds. The annual Harry and Zackia Lecture alternates between the Department of Internal Medicine and the School of Dentistry. In addition, medical students benefit from the Harry and Zackia Shaia Scholarship, the Thomas and Mary Shaia Family Scholarship and the Fred and Rose Shaia Scholarship.

Centor’s presentation, titled “Learning How to Think Like a Physician,” focused on the sometimes problematic ways doctors assimilate and analyze information to make diagnoses. He told the audience of students, faculty and residents about some common mistakes physicians run into when they encounter a patient whose symptoms and test results are difficult to explain.

Centor warned against manipulating diagnoses by choosing to ignore facts that conflict with your understanding of what’s wrong with a patient. Physicians, he cautioned, who often work long hours and see dozens of patients, can sometimes fail to take the time to gather enough information about each individual patient to make sure their diagnoses is correct.

Centor presented anecdotes of patients he has seen throughout his career, and asked the audience to guess their diagnosis. He went on to reveal how an undiscovered or unlooked-for piece of information altered the diagnosis drastically.

By Jack Carmichael

25
2015

Class of 99’s Bob Feezor returns to campus as HM Lee Lecturer

Robert J. Feezor, M’99

During his return to Campus, Bob Feezor, M’99, stopped by the Egyptian Building and recalled how he’d taken his Boards in the Baruch Auditorium’s narrow seats. Seeing the school’s new facilities, he said, “makes me want to be a student again.”

For Robert J. Feezor, M’99, serving as the H.M. Lee Lecturer is not only a professional honor.

“It’s the highest personal privilege,” he says.

To explain, Feezor points to three pivotal years. 1999, when he earned his medical degree. 1973, when he was born in West Hospital. And 1964, when his father, Bill Feezor, became the 40th kidney transplant patient of H.M. Lee, M.D., H’61, and David Hume, M.D., the pioneering surgeons for whom the Hume-Lee Transplant Center is named.

When Feezor was invited to serve as the H. M. Lee Lecturer, it was a special moment. “I’m not an overly emotional person, but when I heard from [vascular surgery chair] Mark Levy,” he pauses for the right word, “it means a lot.”

H.M. Lee, M.D., H’61

H. M. Lee, M.D., H’61, was an internationally renowned pioneer in organ transplantation and a former professor and chairman in the Division of Vascular and Transplant Surgery.

As a second-year medical student, he had the chance to meet Lee. Feezor was doing an elective on the ethics of organ transplantation and asked to speak with the surgeon, who not only gave him his perspective on the topic, but remembered the elder Feezor. “He described him to a T,” said Feezor, who recalls that Lee even pulled out old records on his father that had Lee’s penciled-in notes filling the margins.

“I was so impressed that this very famous surgeon would make the time for a young medical student,” said Feezor. “It was the first time I’d seen you could be very accomplished and also humanistic. What I saw in Dr. Lee and other faculty members solidified my decision to go into academic medicine.”

Feezor’s father went on to become one of Lee and Hume’s longest-living kidney recipients, and his life would be entwined with MCV in big ways and small. From 1967-1976, he worked at MCV as a hospital administrator, a stint that sadly included being the administrator on duty when word came in that the private plane Hume was flying had crashed in California. “It was the hardest day of my life,” Bill Feezor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Class of 1999’s Feezor Is now an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. He also serves as program director for the fellowship program in vascular surgery. He’s passionate about teaching students and residents. He’s good at it, too – in 2005, he was awarded the national Resident Award for Exemplary Teaching by the American College of Surgeons.

Those teaching skills were on display at the Lee Lecture when Feezor chose as his topic the current management of type B aortic dissections. The clinical issue spurred a lively discussion at the end of his presentation.

Following his death in 2013, Hyung Mo “H.M.” Lee’s family, friends and colleagues made gifts in his memory to create the memorial lecture that bears his name. The focus of the annual lecture alternates between the Divisions of Transplant Surgery and Vascular Surgery.

The elder Feezor passed away in 2006, and this week marks nine years since his death – 42 years after his life-saving transplant.

21
2015

Pathology’s Celeste Powers receives national honor for contributions to education

Charles Johnson Kinsolving1904

Celeste N. Powers, M.D., Ph.D., F’89, accepts the L.C. Tao Educator of the Year Award from Zubair Baloch, M.D., president of the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology.

Celeste N. Powers, M.D., Ph.D., F’89, accepted the L.C. Tao Educator of the Year Award from the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology at the society’s annual meeting in Boston on March 21, 2015.

The L.C. Tao Educator of the Year Award is presented to a pathologist in recognition of meritorious service and contributions to the field of cytopathology education. In 2002, Powers’ MCV Campus mentor William “Jack” Frable, M.D., also received the award.

Powers is the Saul Kay Professor in Diagnostic Pathology and chair of the Division of Anatomic Pathology in the Department of Pathology. The co-author of two textbooks, she also has authored numerous book chapters and over 100 peer reviewed publications in head and neck surgical and cytopathology. Powers has developed and directed regional and national courses, workshops and symposia and has served as an editorial board member and reviewer for numerous pathology journals. At its inception in 1996, she was associate editor of Cancer Cytopathology and, in 2009, became its editor-in-chief.

She is currently president of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology and has served the American Society of Cytopathology as an executive board member and president in the past. In 2008, she received the American Society of Cytopathology’s highest honor, the Papanicolaou Award.

Powers earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Baylor College of Medicine and an M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School, where she also completed her residency in anatomic and clinical pathology. She received her fellowship training in surgical and cytopathology on VCU’s MCV Campus under the directorship of William “Jack” Frable, M.D. She held faculty appointments at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse before returning to Richmond in 1998 to join the Pathology Department.

20
2015

Nationally known speakers, dozens of student presenters intersect at regional neurosciences meeting

Scientists from the symposium

The symposium featured four nationally known scientists: (left-right) Ben Arenkiel, Ph.D. (Baylor College of Medicine), Vincent Pieribone, Ph.D. (Yale University), David Lyon, Ph.D. (University of California Irvine) and Michael Krashes, Ph.D. (NIDDKD).

The Kontos Medical Sciences Building was busier than a cluster of excitatory neurons on March 20 when 150 neuroscientists convened for the annual symposium of the Central Virginia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

The symposium featured a quartet of nationally known speakers who travelled from UC Irvine, Yale, Baylor and the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to present the latest discoveries from their research labs. From their talks, the symposium’s topic was born: “Optogenetics, Chemogenetics and Circuit Mapping of Brain Function.”

Each speaker described some of the latest tools used by neuroscientists to uncover the connections and functions of the central nervous system. These tools ranged from using the unique properties of the rabies virus to delineate CNS connections to using fluorescent protein genes derived from ocean coral to generate voltage probes that can convert voltage changes across biological membranes into optical signals.

CVCSN student presenter winners

CVCSN student presenter winners were Jianmin Su (Virginia Tech), Kareem Clark (VCU), Claire Dixon (VCU), Joseph Balsamo (JMU) and Ryan Poland (VCU). Photo taken by Pavel Lizhnyak.

Chapter President Raymond J. Colello, Ph.D., Treasurer Andy Ottens, Ph.D., Secretary Unsong Oh, M.D., and Rory McQuiston, Ph.D., organized the symposium.

An associate professor in VCU’s Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Colello says that the annual gathering has always been a place to learn about recent findings, but it’s also an important forum for students to begin to take their place in the neuroscience community.

In an hour-long session, called a Data Blitz, eight doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars from VCU presented a series of oral presentations. They shared their research findings with an audience populated by faculty, students and post-docs from neuroscience research programs around Central Virginia.

“I was delighted how well all the students did at explaining their research and its impact within the five-minute time constraint of the Data Blitz talk,” says Colello.

VCU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology postdoc Michael Surace presented during the Blitz. “Although the Data Blitz format presses you to present your data concisely, this may actually be a benefit,” he says. “I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of conversation it sparked with other researchers, especially those from other institutions.”

An additional poster session boasted nearly five dozen abstracts representing the work of undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs from a half dozen Virginia schools: Eastern Virginia Medical School, James Madison, VCU, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia and William and Mary.

At the end of the day, symposium organizers selected five outstanding student presenters for awards.

“It was a wonderful opportunity, not just to be able to share your work, but to see all of the amazing research being performed right in our own backyard,” said Kareem Clark, VCU graduate student and poster presentation winner. “As a grad student, a regional meeting such as this one is great for networking and finding potential post-doctoral positions locally.”

16
2015

Two alumni offer perspective on connecting with patients via online communities

The popularity of social media and online communities has created countless web sites offering medical advice. Some physicians wonder what role they should play – or even if they should get involved at all.

S. Larry Schlesinger, M'71

S. Larry Schlesinger, M’71

S. Larry Schlesinger, M’71, of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Brooke R. Seckel, M’69, of Boston, Mass., recently took the time to answer our questions about their choice to be active online. The two surgeons are among the top 100 most influential board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons in social media as compiled by RealSelf. The list honors board-certified doctors who are among the most active and highly rated on the online community where the general public poses questions and finds answers about cosmetic surgery, dermatology, dentistry and other elective treatments.

Both Seckel and Schlesinger point to the fact that an increasing number of patients use the internet to find doctors and check their credentials. “Over 68 percent of patients search online to help them make health care decisions,” says Seckel. Schlesinger emphasizes the point, saying “the choice is to engage online communities or be invisible.”

An online presence not only makes finding a doctor easier, but it also allows patients to become more informed about medical procedures and make better decisions about which doctor to choose. Schlesinger points out that although many patients still find doctors through traditional referrals from friends, family or other doctors, “patients are still going to the internet to validate their decisions.”

Brooke R. Seckel, M'69

Brooke R. Seckel, M’69

Seckel says that “patients who come in for consultation after reading on RealSelf are usually very well informed. An informed patient is often more likely to understand their goals, be aware of complications, able to complete a better informed consent and understand the recovery period. This typically makes management of these patients much easier and facilitates communication.”

Patients aren’t the only ones who benefit from online medical communities like RealSelf. By offering their advice to patients online, doctors like Seckel and Schlesinger improve their social network ranking on Google and other sites, increasing the likelihood that patients will come across their names when searching for a doctor online.

Competition for page views and clicks will only increase as more people turn to the internet for medical advice. For now, the surgeons remained focused on educating patients and increasing the quality of care. Seckel says that his goal is to “educate and teach objectively and honestly,” and for his part Schlesinger says that “those practices which are transparent and engage online drive quality and patient satisfaction. The practice thrives and patients benefit.”

Schlesinger offers plastic surgery services in three locations in Hawaii. He was the first plastic surgeon in Hawaii to be chosen as physician of the year by his peers in the Hawaii Medical Association. With more than 30 years of plastic surgery experience, he has performed more than 18,300 plastic surgery procedures.

Seckel practices with Boston Plastic Surgery Specialists and is an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is chairman emeritus of plastic surgery at Lahey Clinic where he founded the Lahey Clinic Department of Plastic Surgery and the Lahey Clinic Residency Training Program in Plastic Surgery.

By Jack Carmichael