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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


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


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.