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Tribute to Dr. John M. Daly, March 16, 2011



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Kathleen Reeves, MD
Daniel Mueller, MD
Thomas Kupp
Solomon Luo, MD
Sandra Gomberg, RN, MSN
Mary Ann Durkin

   K. Reeves, MD







Kathleen Reeves, MD

Associate Dean, Student Affairs

Temple University School of Medicine


It is truly a great honor to celebrate all that Dr. Daly is and has done for the School of Medicine. Medicine is a field that is not really taught but mentored. And, in Dr. Daly’s own words, mentoring is not teaching. Mentoring is being involved in someone’s world and living the lessons being shared. So I would like to share what Dr. Daly’s mentorship has meant to me.


The lessons I want to share are not facts learned but rather moments of realization. When I initially applied for the job as Associate Dean of Student Affairs, I was thrilled to be offered an interview. I was to meet both Dean Daly and Dr. Richard Kozera, Executive Associate Dean. Dr. Daly graciously greeted me, called me into his office, and we sat down. We spoke about family and life and medicine for a total of about 5 minutes. He thanked me and I left. I wondered if that was a good sign or a bad sign. All would be balanced shortly, though. My next interview was with Dr. Kozera. Seventy-eight minutes later I left his office realizing very successful folks can do things very differently. I am not sure if any of the rest of you noticed, but these two executives handle things a bit differently; and so the world remains balanced.


One of the most important things I learned from Dr. Daly was that strength comes with vulnerability. And this is only possible when someone truly cares about the people he has been charged with teaching. Dr. Daly would always greet our incoming classes with a story about his own experience as a patient, a story that spoke of the importance of kindness, not just the value of knowledge. There was no better way to help these students begin their journey.


As I spent more time with Dr. Daly, I realized that he and my grandmother shared a life outlook. My grandmother would always say to me, "Life is like a rubber-band; you are most useful when you are stretched." Dr. Daly surely agrees. He always stretched us. In a kind way. In a supportive way. But he always knew we could accomplish more than we thought we could. And look at the result. A new curriculum. A full LCME accreditation with two commendations. A new building. An amazing U.S. News and World Report ranking. A revitalized research enterprise. Amazing students who go on to truly great residencies. And a truly impressive national reputation.


Though there are many other lessons, I only have time to share one more. It is for me the most important. Dr. Daly always said family is important. Don’t let work overrun your family. And he lived it. I have seen him on the phone with his daughter, Maureen. No matter what the issue, he is not distracted. He is totally focused on her. I have seen him so very proud of his sons in Washington, in Philly, and elsewhere. I have seen how he can bring a brightness to a place no matter what the situation. And that has empowered me to try to do the same. And whatever time we think family takes away from our duties here, the amount their support gives us pays that back fourfold. So for that, Dr. Daly, I will be always most grateful.


If I could give you one gift, Dr. Daly, it would be to see what I see. To see that each student who passed through these doors over the last eight 8 years is a better physician because of you. That the people responsible for education and mentorship, the faculty, administrators and staff, are more skilled at teaching and learning because of you. And because of all of that, you have a legacy; a legacy of amazing, compassionate care for so very many people.


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