A true gentleman and a superb physician

  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014

To the Editor:

It was with great sorrow that I noted the passing of Dr. James Forrester, a true gentleman and a superb physician.

His published obituary gives testimony to his long service to his country, to this state, and to our community.

But what I will remember most about Jim is what a tremendous role model he was for me during the many years we served together on the medical staff of Georgetown Memorial Hospital.

In both word and deed, he taught me that “it is a privilege to serve” all of our patients, regardless of their station in life.

Serving with him on the Medical Executive Committee at the hospital, I learned to suspend judgement until all parties had had the opportunity to present their sides and all the evidence had been reviewed.

Sir William Osler, perhaps the greatest professor of medicine our nation has known, was once asked what he believed to be the most important quality for a physician.

His reply was simply, “equanimity,” which is defined as steadiness under stress, or more colloquially, “keeping your cool while everyone around you is losing theirs.”

Jim Forrester possessed that quality in abundance. It served him well both as a physician and as a leader. May he rest in peace; I will sorely miss him.

Lance A. Duvall, MD

Georgetown

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