Lives of the fellows

Edward Carl Rosenow

b.7 April 1909 d.3 June 2002
BA Carleton(1931) MD Harvard(1935) MScMed Minnesota(1939) Hon DSc Carleton(1967) FRCP(1968)

Edward Carl Rosenow junior was executive vice president of the American College of Physicians. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. He father, Edward Carl Rosenow senior, was a distinguished physician and bacteriologist on the original staff of the Mayo Clinic. His mother was Lydia Barbara Rosenow née Senty, the daughter of a farmer. Rosenow earned an undergraduate degree at Carleton College. He interrupted his college education to spend two years in China, where he taught English at a congregational church mission in Shansi. While there he researched the distribution of blood groups in the Shansi population and, more importantly, met young Esther Church, an Ohio girl and Oberlin graduate who was teaching at the Oberlin School in Shansi. They were married in 1931.

Rosenow received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1935. After completing an internship at Faulkner Hospital in Boston, he held a fellowship in medicine at the Mayo Clinic from 1936 to 1940. He then joined a private practice in Pasadena, California, where he worked until 1957. While in private practice, Rosenow also served as a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. During those years he also became active in the Los Angeles County Medical Association. He found medical administration interesting and rewarding, and in 1957 became the association’s full-time executive director.

In 1959 Rosenow was appointed executive vice president of the American College of Physicians (ACP), a position he held until his retirement in 1977. During his tenure, membership grew from 10,000 to 40,000, in part because of the creation of the associate program. In addition, circulation of the Annals of Internal Medicine rose from 24,000 to 84,000, and the college introduced its medical knowledge self-assessment program. Through his leadership the college extended substantially the range and complexity of its activities.

While serving as the ACP’s executive vice president he also worked as a clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and taught at Philadelphia General and Pennsylvania hospitals.

Rosenow also played a major role in establishing the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. He was president of the American Osler Society in the 1970s, and of the American Medical Writers’ Association.

He was awarded a mastership of the ACP, and the Alfred E Stengel memorial award for outstanding service in 1976. The following year he received the American Society of Internal Medicine’s distinguished internist award.

His first wife Esther died in 1985. In 1989 Ed married LaVonne Adamson. He was survived by his second wife, daughter (Susan) and son (Robert).

Eric Greenberg

[Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2003; 114: lix–lxi; University of Pennsylvania Almanac, Vol 49, No 1, July 16, 2002 www.upenn.edu/almanac/v49/n01/deaths.html – accessed 2 September 2013]

(Volume XII, page web)

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