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Daniel Morton Bachman ’49

Daniel Morton Bachman ’49, November 9, 2012, in Portland. Daniel’s studies at Reed were interrupted by World War II, but he returned to the college on the G.I. Bill, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in chemistry. After graduation, he took a clinical clerkship at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, England, then returned to Portland to work at the University-State Tuberculosis Hospital for meals and a bed; he earned an MD and an MS in physiology from University of Oregon Medical School. He interned at George Washington University Hospital, did his residency in internal medicine at Louisville General Hospital, then worked as a clinical and research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. “For the first time since leaving Reed, I felt again at home. The golden age of medicine was taking place in the U.S. at that time, and some of the most talented and accomplished people in medicine were on the scene.” At the hospital, he met Judith Gold MAT ’71, whom he married. Daniel joined the faculty at the University of Oregon Medical School in 1956, where he was instrumental in creating the first rheumatology division; he became a full professor and head of rheumatology. In 1968, he left the school to go to Ramatuelle in southern France with Judith and their three children. The family lived in France for nine months and traveled throughout Europe, “soaking up history and art like dry sponges.” In Florence, Daniel viewed firsthand the art that Rex Arragon [history 1923–74] had presented in a classroom slide show, and throughout their travels he found that Lloyd Reynolds’ [English & art 1929–69] classes “pointed the way to enjoyment.” Back in Portland, Daniel opened a private practice in rheumatology and internal medicine that extended to more than 17 years. “I went into private practice with an open mind, aware of, but unfettered by, academic dogma.” In addition, Daniel learned to fly light aircraft at the age of 40. “It added a new dimension to my perceptions. My medical professional work was done up close, looking at surfaces, looking through the microscope, etc. Flying involved looking far into the distance, anticipating, and being patient.” When he retired from his practice in 1987, he spent time reading, traveling, and reviving his interest in playing piano. In 1988, he “emerged from the cocoon of retirement” and embarked on a third career as a physician specialist at the Eastern Oregon Psychiatric and Training Centers in Pendleton, Oregon; he retired finally in 2008. In her remembrance of Daniel, Judith wrote: “Dan made the archetypal American journey. Born of immigrant parents, he discovered a world where ideas and imagination reigned at Reed College. It was a transformative experience; one he remained grateful for.” His medical career—research, teaching, and practice—says Judith, demonstrated the highest level of competence, ethical standards, and dedication to service. “His passion for learning, independent cast of mind, and capacity for wonder at the natural world have been passed on to his three children.” Survivors include Judith, sons Tovey (’78) and Nathaniel (Reed, 1979–80), and daughter Elizabeth.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2013

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