Dr William Alan Hamilton Dodd, 1936–2017

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 59, No. 7, September 2017, Page 370 Obituaries

With the passing of Dr Alan Dodd we have lost one of the original pillars of dermatology in BC.

With the passing of Dr Alan Dodd we have lost one of the original pillars of dermatology in BC. After graduating from UBC Medicine in 1960, Dr Dodd joined the Dermatology Residency Program in Portland, Oregon. He returned to BC in the mid-60s and started a practice in the Fairmont Medical Building on West Broadway. He also joined forces with a few other dermatologists in Vancouver to help establish a residency program in dermatology, the first west of Toronto at that time. The group was instrumental in acquiring approval and funding for a 2-year program, and the UBC Division of Dermatology Residency Program was born in 1967.

Dr Dodd also began teaching, and I first met him in 1969 when I began my residency. He soon became one of my favorite clinicians. Dr Dodd was a natural born teacher with a knack for imparting knowledge by way of gentle coaxing—never critical, he would patiently lead us around our mistakes. He taught us bedside manners by example, being so caring with patients, always taking time to listen well. Teaching clinics with Dr Dodd were always enjoyable. He was a superb communicator, whether talking to patients, students, residents, or colleagues. As a lecturer he routinely received the top assessments and was always in demand for our CME programs. Dr Dodd practised for 50 years, never truly retiring; after closing his Vancouver office he continued to practise in Burnaby part-time.

In addition to maintaining a busy practice and an often hectic teaching schedule, Dr Dodd found time to offer his expertise in other areas. He served as president of the Canadian Dermatology Association in 1986, and was active in the BC Section of Dermatology. In 1986 he took on the time-consuming job of editor of the BC Medical Journal, a post he retained until 1993.

Alan was a true gentleman with a wonderful sense of humor, beloved by his patients, as demonstrated by the excellent ratings he received. He is well summed up by the remarks of one of his patients: “A lovely guy, very courteous and respectful, yet natural in his manner.”

He will be missed. 
—Roberta Ongley, MD

Dr Alan Dodd was a great friend, a trusted colleague, and one of my mentors—perhaps my most important one. Al was the editor of the BCMJ when I was a still a newbie member of the Editorial Board. He taught me how to present and organize my manuscript reviews and, without realizing it, he taught me how to write. He made it clear how important it was that the production of the journal was a team effort and that no one was more important than anyone else on the Editorial Board, least of all himself. The BCMJ evolved into the readable, pertinent, scholarly journal you find on your doorstep today in large part due to the energy, dedication, vision, and management style of Alan Dodd. Al showed me how important full Editorial Board participation and consensus was in decision making, but he also insisted that the journal had to have a human touch with a sprinkling of humor. As a result, from the moment he assumed the editorship, the BCMJ added regular nonclinical, often humorous, pieces that made it a more human, readable communication vehicle that the vast majority of BC’s doctors felt reflected their practices and their lives, and they claimed personal ownership of this excellent little association journal.

When Al decided to retire in 1993 he asked if I would agree to become the editor and, to put it mildly, I was terrified. How on earth was I going to be able to take over from the person who had transformed the BCMJ into easily the best association journal in the country? Al assured me that he would be around to help if I ever needed it but said he doubted I would be calling. Well, he was wrong, and I called him many times over the next 16 or so years. He always provided excellent counsel with more than a little humor, and the journal always benefited by his insights, his vision, and most of all, his humor. By always being available and always being prepared to give me that thing we have so little of—time—he taught me the definition of the word colleague.

We have all lost a great friend of the journal and the profession. I miss him.
—James A. Wilson, MD
West Vancouver

Roberta Ongley, MD. Dr William Alan Hamilton Dodd, 1936–2017. BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 7, September, 2017, Page(s) 370 - Obituaries.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

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