William John Reeves, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
For now we see through a glass, darkly
but then face to face;
now I know in part,
but then I will know fully
just as I also have been fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12)
William John Reeves Jr., M.D., Ph.D., born 1932 died 2017
survived by his wife Marie, his sister Ethel and many more family and friends.
This is a memorial born of love shared. Bill’s words reflect deliberate thought, a desire to understand. During the past 20 years Bill experienced both sides of the Doctor/Patient Relationship (Heart disease, cancer and complications of these diseases). After years dedicated to Science, we have donated his body to Baylor so his resolve will continue. Following are words of his including his personalized summary of his life and times.
WILLIAM J. REEVES, JR., M.D., Ph.D.
BORN 1932, Eugene, Oregon
Wife; Marie Helen Haeffner Reeves, artist
I'm a country boy from a rainy and muddy western Oregon, rather like Houston now. My father's business, the Springfield Sand and Gravel Co., kept sawmills, loggers, and the Southern Pacific Railroad afloat in a sea of mud. On this slippery foundation was my education paid for.
MARVELOUS COUNTRY GRADE SCHOOLS: 1938 46
With several classes in one room and individual attention from teachers and everybody else in the room! Could we bottle this and sell it, America's educational problems would be over!
SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL: Springfield, Oregon 1946 50
High in science and math; three winners in the Westinghouse (now Intel) Science Talent Search Science. As a winner in 1950 I and my co winners received a trip to Washington, DC. We met the President, heard prominent scientists, visited Research Institutes, and listened keenly to the intense debate about proceeding with the development of the Hydrogen Bomb. This was big, big stuff for teenagers.
Miss Wilma Wilson, our math teacher, was marvelous, but she brooked no nonsense. She was also Dean of Girls and I worked as her receptionist during my senior year . . . few guys can say anything like that!
I participated in many activities . . . Newspaper, Yearbook, Photographer. Not an athlete, I settled for being a sports photographer.
FIRST PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN MEDICINE:
SACRED HEART GENERAL HOSPITAL (in which I was born 20 years earlier),
Summer of 1952, as an Orderly . . . a good way to learn about medicine
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, Eugene, Oregon 1950 1953
1955 B.S., MATHEMATICS, with Highest Honors (probably third in my graduating class)
Freshman Honorary, Math Honorary, Pre Med Honorary, Mackenzie Scholarship to Medical School (first in Pre Med), Phi Beta Kappa Basically a GRIND . . . I wanted into Medical School!
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON MEDICAL SCHOOL, Portland, Oregon 1953 58
(second in graduating class; my entering class graduated in 1957)
1958 M.S., BIOCHEMISTRY (required an extra year); M.D.
Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Society, elected as a Junior, academically first in my home class, which made me President of the Society by fiat rather than administrative qualifications (I forgot to order the liquor for the Annual Awards Banquet).
SOUTHERN PACIFIC GENERAL HOSPITAL, San Francisco 1958 59
This was an excellent rotating internship and on my rotation to the Urology Service I had the heady experience of being a "Medical Consultant"!
ASSISTANT RESIDENT, INTERNAL MEDICINE
STANFORD MEDICAL SCHOOL, San Francisco, Palo Alto 1959 60
Evaluated the first Medicine patient in the new Stanford Outpatient Clinic on the new Palo Alto campus; I was the last Stanford Resident physician to work in San Francisco with Dr. Arthur Bloomfield, the grand old man of Stanford Medicine and a pioneer in many aspects of Internal Medicine.
ASSISTANT RESIDENT, INTERNAL MEDICINE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO MEDICAL CENTER 1960 61
Worked with excellent Attending physicians; became acquainted in Biochemistry and the Cancer Research Institute
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO
U.S.P.H. POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW IN BIOCHEMISTRY OF DISEASE:
DEPARTMENT OF BIOCHEMISTRY 1961 65
Ph.D., BIOCHEMISTRY 1967
In addition to our Ph.D. projects my colleague, Dr. Grace M. Fimognari, and I developed a new, high yield way in which to purify the heart isozyme of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Method published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry and in Methods in Enzymology; a coup! An elevated LDH can be indicative of a recent heart attack . . . we were paid $18.00 and a copy of that issue of Methods.
CANCER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO
U.S.P.H. POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW IN CANCER CONTROL: 1965 67
DERNHAM SCHOLARSHIP, CALIFORNIA BRANCH OF THE AMERICAN CANCER
ASSOCIATION: 1967 69
My teachers were pioneers in cancer chemotherapy and medical cancer treatment, supported by outstanding pathologists with whom we reviewed the pathology of our patients' cancers. We clinicians performed and read our own bone marrow exams. During the final two years I collaborated with Dr. Relda Cailleau, a tissue culture pioneer (an original "Termite" from Terman's study of gifted individuals and a prior collaborator with two Nobel Prize winners).
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT HOUSTON, M.D. ANDERSON HOSPITAL AND TUMOR INSTITUTE
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AND ASSISTANT INTERNIST
(ONCOLOGIST) MEDICAL BREAST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE 1969
1975Member NCI Breast Cancer Task Force and Principal Investigator NCI Research Contract in Breast Cancer 1972 1974. This was one of the first two contracts awarded.
MacGREGOR MEDICAL ASSOCIATION , Houston, Texas
INTERNIST 1975 1996
The MacGregor Medical Association practiced very high quality medicine and I enjoyed working there as we grew from a small multi specialty medical group to become the medical muscle for PruCare in Houston, the first HMO in Texas. MacGregor Houston PruCare was an HMO done right, almost certainly because prior to our relationship with Prudential, we had a long history in the community and excellent management. I am convinced that valuable lessons lie in the story of the MacGregor Medical Association, its success, and sadly, how much later it came to fail even while continuing to practice good medicine and satisfy our patients.
BEE MAC REFERENCE LABORATORY, MacGregor Medical, etc. 1983 86; 1990 1993
and for DAMON CLINICAL LABORATORIES, Houston 1993 5
I helped install the then new Bethesda System for cervical pap smears, consulted with physicians, worked with our laboratory information system, and saw to maintaining and testing lab proficiency and safe handling of dangerous specimens and reagents. While I was Director our lab passed the national HICFA tests for laboratory standards and proficiency.
SAN JOSE CLINIC, Houston, Texas
INTERNIST September 2005-November 2006
A true learning experience! At times I almost think myself back in San Francisco in 1960 treating patients without income and without insurance, except that what medicine can do for my patients has improved so greatly. Most of our patients are Hispanic and the commonest diagnoses are hypertension, adult onset diabetes mellitus, obesity, h. pylori positive dyspepsia, osteoarthritis and situational depression. Since Hispanic patients turn out to be just like other patients (only perhaps more so!) it has been easy for me to resume seeing patients "in real life" and it has been pleasant to find that I have, indeed, "kept up" with my medical interests. There has been no shortage of challenging problems and the patients themselves are delightful, intelligent and cooperative.
J&J MEDICAL CLINIC 2006-2010
I had to go visit the Texas Medical Board to answer charges of inappropriately prescribing opiates for pain. It was the most humiliating experience of my life! I have always looked at myself as one of the “Good Guys” and one of the “Elite” Good Guys! However, things are clearly worse in medical care and drug abuse. I can visualize the destruction of civilization by ordinary citizens willing to spend vast sums of their own money for “recreational” substance abuse, which as the users say “really doesn’t hurt anybody”! I feel that this is one of the aspects of the human condition that our civilization and any other civilization has to deal with realistically or die. We spend at least 100 times as much on controlling illegal drugs as we do on pain research.
After an extended sabbatical I need to return to work. I can speak all the “languages” of medicine and I can “fill-in” or “cover” for most medical sub-specialties. I like and respect people and I believe that good ideas can come from any source. I have been involved with medical organizations as they grow and as they lose their way and falter. I feel that several small sequential improvements are often as useful as one “cosmic” advance. I’m analytical and like trouble-shooting and I enjoy working with creative (if sometimes difficult) people and helping them work with each other. I believe that improved patient education, practical medical information systems and strengthened doctor-patient and doctor-doctor relationships are the pathways by which we will solve the problems now besetting American medicine.