Alumni Giving

Alumni Giving

Bassett alumni are those practitioners who were residents or medical chiefs at Bassett but now may have moved on to another organization.

Alumni give to Friends of Bassett for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps you remember the community here, the camaraderie and intense commitment to learning that prevails in our medical education program. That commitment continues today, and we welcome your participation.

If you learned here, you're part of the Bassett family!

Continue the tradition by participating in our Alumni Association and supporting medical education.

Here are a few stories from alumni who do.

Dr. MeridethDavis

Humanism in Medicine — Preserving Bassett’s Legacy in Practice and Through Giving
“I always felt that Bassett was this little jewel with a very specific culture and unusual history and that it is important to help preserve that legacy.” 
                                                                                      Dr. Merideth Davis
It has been more than three decades since Merideth Davis, M.D., completed her transitional year and a six-month internal medicine residency at Bassett, and yet the experience was impactful enough that she still remembers specific interactions with patients and mentoring physicians that would mold her own approach to medicine.
“My time at Bassett was incredible,” recalls Davis, who received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rochester in 1989. “Cooperstown was a huge change from what I had been exposed to previously. Physicians would call you when one of their patients got admitted. They’d go see the patient at night; they knew everything about the patient and their families. They would have the medical students and residents over for dinner. It was such a wonderful place.”
Davis went on to complete her internal medicine residency at the University of Colorado, but she has remained connected to Bassett as a member of the Medical Alumni Association, serving as president for six years.
As an internist in primary care, Davis has found herself drawn to helping vulnerable populations. One of her first positions after leaving Bassett was as a general practitioner for the Indian Health Service in Keams Canyon, AZ.
“It was totally in the middle of nowhere. Talk about poverty — cinder block hovels, no running water — but I loved it. We were allowed to be really creative in how best to help our patients.”
Davis also spent several years at a substance abuse clinic for the homeless in Miami, FL. 
“It was extremely challenging. We had very limited resources. It was like the Wild West in terms of figuring out how to help our patients. I told myself I had to stay at least one year. I stayed nine.”
That commitment to the person and a sometimes unconventional approach to problem solving has stayed with Davis, who now works with a largely immigrant population at a community clinic in Boston, MA.
“Life is really hard. They often have limited education and limited financial means. You want people to be healthier and take better care of themselves in a way that will work for them.”
Davis’ weekends are often spent reviewing her patients’ medical history and past imaging and test results in preparation for the next week’s appointments. During clinic visits, the computer is set aside so that she can give her full attention to the patient and not chance missing something that may help inform a diagnosis. Visit notes are entered in the electronic medical record afterward. 
“I know medicine has changed a lot. That is true everywhere, but it is also true that every individual is sacred. People who don’t necessarily have a voice need to be treated well. When I did my rotations at Bassett, the attention each person received took time, which is in scarce supply now. I think it’s important to value and preserve that legacy as much as possible.”
Davis is helping preserve that legacy not only in practice, but also in giving. The indelible impression Bassett had on her prompted Davis to designate the organization as a beneficiary in her will, helping to ensure that future residents can have a similar experience.
“My experience at Bassett really changed how I felt about practicing medicine. In the end, it is about how you treat people. People remember that. I remembered that.”


Dr. Malcolm Brown

Dr. Malcolm Brown attended Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut before studying medicine at Columbia Medical School in New York City. He was a medical intern at Bassett from 1973 to 1976. Although he has lived in North Carolina for many years, he still feels a bond with Bassett because of those years as a Bassett intern.

"We really enjoyed those years," Dr. Brown said. "Living in Cooperstown was an interesting experience."
Dr. Brown was one of six medical interns, a close group that he felt got along well. "We had a great camaraderie among the house staff," he noted. He loved the surroundings and liked the countryside, although the winters were difficult. He remembered getting out in the snow, and also getting stuck in the snow.
Most of all, he felt that "the hospital delivered super medicine," and also "a very good education." The interns worked long hours for that education, he thought. "We worked 36 on, 12 off for quite a bit. It's good they've changed that," he said. Even with those long hours and the hard work they entailed, he remembers his time at Bassett fondly.

A key component of those fond memories was his teachers. "John Davis was a superb teacher," Dr. Brown emphasized, and "Walter Franck was my mentor. I became a rheumatologist because of him." Summing up, he said, "It was a good life. It was just a good life."

Dr. Brown gives regularly to support both Bassett's annual fund and medical education.

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The Friends is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing philanthropic support for Bassett Healthcare Network.