Monday, January 04, 2010

In memoriam: William M. Garnjobst, MD (1920-2009)

We return from the holiday season to the sad news of the passing of University of Oregon Medical School alumnus, retired OHSU faculty member, and HC&A supporter Dr. William M. Garnjobst, M.D., who died on Dec. 17, 2009. He was 89.

Dr. Garnjobst was born in Halsey, OR, on Oct. 14, 1920. He attended Oregon State College, graduating with a B.A. in 1943. He obtained his M.D. from UOMS in 1945 (in the wartime accelerated program) and undertook an internship at Highland Alameda Hospital in Oakland, CA. He reported to Madigan General Hospital to complete his internship year, training there with chief John Bonica. Garnjobst was subsequently assigned to the Sondrestromfjord Air Force Base in Greenland, retuning to the U.S. in 1947.

He practiced with his father (UOMS Class of 1912) in Corvallis for two years before returning to UOMS for a residency in surgery. He joined Louis Gambee and Clifford "Em" Hardwick at Providence in 1954. Garnjobst was only the second physician ever to be re-elected as president of the medical staff there. He also served as Clinical Professor of Surgery at OHSU and as a consultant to the Portland VA Medical Center before retiring in 1988. Providence has established a William M. Garnjobst endowed Chair of Graduate Medical Education.

Garnjobst authored 18 papers on surgical topics and served as associate editor of Diseases of the colon & rectum for 11 years.

An avid book collector and strong supporter of the Historical Collections & Archives, Garnjobst donated Thomas Willis' De anima brutorum (Oxonii, E Theatro Sheldoniano, impensis Ric. Davis, 1672) and a 1787 French translation of John Hunter's Traité des maladies vénériennes (Paris : Méquignon, 1787). He also contributed to the writing of the history of the OHSU Dept. of Surgery, which was completed in 2007. His affable manner and gentlemanly bearing will be greatly missed.

A memorial will be held in January.

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