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Bob Stone: A friend and mentor returns for homecoming 2014

I always look forward to homecoming weekend, and the opportunity to meet alumni and hear their stories. At this year’s homecoming, we hosted Faculty of Health Sciences alumni going all the way back to 1954!

It was a special joy this year to be welcoming one of my favourite teachers, Dr. Robert Stone, who has been a friend and mentor for many years. When Bob and his wife Mary came back to Kingston this weekend, Cheryl and I had the chance to spend some time with them, and attend the Tricolour Guard dinner together.

Bob gave me my first job as an intern at Mount Sinai Hospital in 1977, and ten years later my first academic job at the Toronto Western Hospital. Bob was a great surgeon and a wonderful teacher. To be sure, he taught me how to take out a colon, to diagnose a perforated ulcer and treat septic shock. But these were secondary lessons. He also taught me how to dream.

As his young partner of a few months, he came to me one day in July 1987, and in his gruff but friendly manner said, “Reznick, you’re taking the month of December off; I’ll take care of your patients”. I looked at him as if he was from Mars. I had just started up my practice, I argued, and I could barely afford to take a month off. Besides, what on God’s earth would I do for a month? His answer was profound in its simplicity. “You need to go to the library, spend a month collecting your thoughts, dream the big dream, and write it down”.

Well, as flabbergasted as I was, I did exactly that. I took the month off and wrote a document about the creation of a center for medical education. That document became the focus of my academic life for the next ten years. That spark, which came from a crazy surgeon who dared to challenge his junior partner, changed my life.

Congratulations to Bob and fellow Meds ’64 classmates on your induction to the Tricolour Guard, and thank you for the lives that you have changed along the way.

Tell me about the teacher or mentor who changed your life by commenting on the blog, or better yet, please drop by the Macklem House, my door is always open.

Colin Mciver

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:25

Bob was a mentor to me also at MSH starting a straight surgical internship in 1979 along with his Chief Resident Hartley Stern. Those were heady days. I immediately loved general surgery and still am most excited by general surgical problems.
I am glad to know Bob is doing well.
Colin Mciver

Colin Mciver

Hi Colin,

Thank you for sharing. I have no doubt that Bob inspired many throughout his career. I will pass along your regards.

Richard

reznickr

Terence Carscadden

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:26

Hello Dr. Reznick
I am one of the Meds ’64 class. Bob is a wonderful caring doctor and person and I am sure that you have many memories of your times with him. I made it a point of talking to him about you and your experiences. Bob was originally going to be an internist in the early years, then had great experiences with D.L.C Bingham and others which changed him over to surgery. I was a great admirer of Dr Bingham. I believe we all were. In fact, in all my years in Meds ALL of the Profs were great teachers.
It was a great pleasure and privilege to meet you at the receptions and at the dinner. The whole program was wonderful. We had a good turnout of our class. We were like one whole happy family!
Best Regards
Terry Carscadden

Terence Carscadden

Hi Terry,

It is the tight-knit nature of our classes that really makes Queen’s special. Indeed, we are lucky to have had so many great professors over the years. Thank you for coming, and it was nice to meet you too.

Richard

reznickr

Bill Moore (Meds ' 62, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:29

Richard, what a wonderful tribute to such a great mentor! And, like Terry C. has fond memories of Dr. Bingham and other great Queen’s Meds teachers, as I do, surgery was not my calling — Maternal and Child Health was. Today, Public Health is as important as it ever was, and should continue to be. Epidemics occasionally threaten and get lots of media attention, but I am confident that Queen’s Meds graduates will be well prepared for these challenges.

Bill Moore (Meds ' 62, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Thanks Bill,

I agree with you on all accounts, the importance of mentors and the continued need for a focus on public health.

Richard

reznickr

John Pellettier

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:31

My experience with Bob foreshadows the kindness and care he took for junior colleagues as a practising academic surgeon.
Bob was a final year medical student when I was a Meds frosh but we both hailed from Barrie, although we had never met. On either my first or second night at Queen’s I answered a knock at my Morris Hall door to have a Meds ’64 chap introduce himself as Bob Stone from Barrie and to come with him. He proceeded to take me to the Portsmouth House where he not only filled me in on all things Queen’s Meds but he also bought! He gave me tips and tricks that stood me in good stead for the next 6 years. He also graciously offered to be available anytime should I have any queries or concerns. He certainly had no need to meet me but as an anxious freshman I was truly grateful, and have never forgotten.

John Pellettier

Jim Town

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:32

The thing I remember most about Bob Stone was his concern for ALL of his classmates.
We would walk down the halls of KGH and he would say “Tell me what you know about” some obscure disease or condition. And I knew nothing about it.
“You better look it up, because it is going to be on the next exam”. How he knew we knew not, but he did.
All this contrasts vividly with my previous experience at Western where even the top guys in the class (like Bob, he was either first or second place, competing with Diana Grinell) would not even loan you their notes if you missed a class.
Queens, in my experience, is the BEST school in the country.
AND I TELL ANYONE WHO ASKS, JUST THAT.

Sorry we missed the festivities, but I am looking to a couple of surgeries and was advised to stay close to home.
Jim Town

Jim Town

Thank you for your comment Jim. I am not surprised at all to hear that Bob was always looking out for his classmates; we are all richer for having encountered him at various points in our lives.

Richard

reznickr

Dear Jim,

Thanks for the great words about Bob and Queen’s. As a proud dean, I certainly agree with you. Best of luck on your upcoming surgery, and hope that you soon make it back to Kingston. When you do, let me know and we’ll have a cup of coffee.

Richard

reznickr

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