University of Rochester


Review welcomes letters from readers and will print them as space permits. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. Unsigned letters cannot be used, but names of the writers may be withheld on request. Send letters to Rochester Review, 147 Wallis Hall, P.O. Box 270033, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0033; rochrev

“One of the great challenges of education is to connect both hemispheres of the brain and make the most of the whole person who seeks to learn health care.” —James McKelvey ’65
Caring for Head and Heart

The article “Meet the Patients” (Spring 2005) struck a familiar note with me. The importance of knowing the patient, not just the disease, has been a longtime favorite topic.

The biopsychosocial model of Rochester’s George Engel was groundbreaking in its time, and I have wondered why it has taken so long to be utilized every day by more of us in health care.

I would like to recommend to you the book Let Me Listen to Your Heart: Writings by Medical Students (Bassett Healthcare, 2002), a collection of essays, poems, and reflections written by then medical students from the School of Medicine and Dentistry and from Columbia University as they completed clinical rotations through Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, New York. The book is edited by David Svahn, a professor of medicine at Columbia, and Alan Kozak ’65, ’69M (MD), ’72M (Res), course director of the Internal Medicine Medical Student Program at Bassett and associate clinical professor of medicine at Columbia.

The items in this small book capture the landscape as seen through the new eyes of these students. It’s a wonderful refresher course for all of us who have been in the world much longer. Certainly it’s a wonderful window for those of us who hope to educate these young hearts and minds.

In my dream, all medical—all health care—education would include just such an exercise. One of the great challenges of education is to connect both hemispheres of the brain and make the most of the whole person who seeks to learn health care. These writings, done on the spot, show the connection of the head and heart. This is a proper goal in medical education for these times.

James S. McKelvey ’65
Newark, Delaware

The Hope of Stem Cells

As president and cofounder of the Chesapeake Chapter of the National Ataxia Foundation, and on behalf of persons with progressively degenerative neurological diseases such as spino-cerebellar ataxia, we read with interest your description of the highly commendable efforts of Philip Pizzo ’70M (MD) to help direct the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (“Pizzo to Help Guide California’s Stem Cell Work,” Alumni Gazette, Spring 2005). The institute’s programs utilize funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Ataxia—whether hereditary or sporadic—manifests itself in severe “human motor control” problems, including walking, speech, swallowing, and balance, such that people with ataxia (Greek for “lack of coordination”) are often misdiagnosed as having multiple sclerosis.

It’s widely believed that stem cell research may ultimately lead to a treatment or a cure for ataxia, which affects an estimated 150,000 Americans (including members of both of our families).

Hats off and “Meliora” to Dr. Pizzo and his dedicated colleagues!

Carl J. Lauter ’55
Betheseda, Maryland

William A. Lee ’54
Frederick, Maryland

Lauter, the president of the Chesapeake Chapter of the National Ataxia Foundation, and Lee, cofounder, past president, and current secretary of the chapter, note that they discovered their University connection after becoming involved with the foundation—Editor.

The Return of Glee

Rochester Review readers might be interested to know about a bit of University history that is being revived.

Founded in 1876, the Men’s Glee Club continued for more than 100 years before it was joined with the Women’s Glee Club to create the University Choir. In their heydays, both groups enjoyed national reputations and exposure.

The Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs will return for the 2005–06 academic year, continuing the proud tradition of choral singing at the University.

Both Glee Clubs will be open not only to students, but to all members of the University community. Interested alumni and individuals from the Greater Rochester area are also welcome to join.

More information is available through the Department of Music in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at (585) 273-5157.

L. Brett Scott
Rochester, New York

The author is an assistant professor in the Department of Music in the College—Editor.