Eldon Bell, MD ’60, writes, “On 31 May, I received a 50-year award for medical practice in the state of South Dakota. And in 2018, I became engaged to Barbara Ann Knott of Rapid City.”
Denis Benjamin, MBB, BCh, Res. ’74 (pathology), writes, “I emigrated to Seattle in 1970, completed a residency in pathology and spent the next 30 years at the children’s hospitals in Seattle and 10 years in Fort Worth. Retired in 2010. Involved in mycology, publishing two books on the subject: “Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas” in 1995 and “Musings of a Mushroom Hunter: A Natural History of Foraging” in 2010. My most recent book, “The Compleat Physician: Reflections From a Golden Era of Clinical Medicine,” recounts stories from medical school at Wits University in the 1960s.”
Suzanne U. Spencer, MD ’76, writes, “I’m retired, living on Mercer Island. I took a trip recently to Germany for a wedding and then a weeklong hiking trip in Switzerland. I spend winters in Mazama, Washington, to ski cross-country. I still keep in touch with a few classmates: Jeni Bolen, MD ’76, Res. ’80 (psychiatry), Jan Suyehira, MD ’75, Res. ’79 (family medicine), John Hruby, MD ’76, and Berdi Safford, MD ’76.”
Ali Afrassiabi, MD ’90, writes, “How about we start working on a great 30-year reunion party, and maybe give back a little to the school? I am already working on the T-shirts. ☺ I always thought I would do medical research later in life, but private practice and family life have left little time. Is it too late to go back to school? I do not feel old, but last time I was in Iran, I got on a city bus and a young kid got up and offered his seat to me. I guess I looked tired, or maybe it was the white hair. Our twin 14-year-olds are set to start at Gig Harbor High School this year. Lately, I have been biking to work. It is very refreshing to cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the early morning, although I am cheating a little by riding an e-bike. About 20 years ago, I started an endowment to support Persian studies at the UW (see the Near Eastern Languages & Civilization website). It has had an amazing impact. We had 750 people and a waiting list to attend this year’s fundraiser at the start of the Persian new year. If you are in Seattle, you are all invited to next year’s event in March 2020.”
James M.C. Li, MD ’93, writes, “A warm ‘hello’ to all my former classmates. Full-circle fun fact: my dad just had both his hips replaced by Christopher Cannon, MD ’92, who I remembered from our UW class. I retired from emergency medicine last year after 20-plus years, including a stint teaching and doing clinical research at Harvard Medical School at the assistant professor level. My wife and I live off-grid and off the coast of Maine on a primitive island, enjoying a very physical life. After countless hours doing clinical writing, I now enjoy writing for the fun of it, and I am working on my third book about our adventures in wilderness living.”
Lawrence D. “Larry” Deal, MD ’95, recently celebrated turning 50 by hiking the “Rim to Rim” at the Grand Canyon in one day with his son Bruce. His father, Edson “Fred” Deal, MD ’65, dropped them off at the north rim and drove around to meet them at the south rim. Larry has been practicing family medicine in the Twin Cities since 1998, and Fred (a retired orthopedic surgeon) continues to enjoy family and friends from his home in Wenatchee.
Wesley Leigh, M.D. ’96, is an active emergency physician and author of “Ligature,” a murder mystery set in modern-day Atlanta.
Louis Poppler, M.D. ’10, graduated from a hand surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in 2019 and a plastic surgery residency at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2018. He will return to Boise, his hometown, where he is establishing the only reconstructive microsurgery and hand surgery program in the area at St. Luke’s Hospital. This will spare patients with complex trauma, wounds or cancer the need to travel out of state for treatment.