Memorializing an indispensible physician


To the Editor:

March 6, 2012 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the death of Robert W. Nevin, MD, at age 82. At that time the thinking was that this truly modest man, a general family practice country doctor, would be honored by gifts to the Mayhew/Nevin Fund at the M.V. Hospital that has served so many of us so well.

But I submit that this wasn’t nearly enough to honor this truly indispensable man. I believe that only a scholarship toward first-year, pre-med tuition, given by the MVRHS, or better yet scholarships toward tuition for each of four years at medical school to study family practice medicine, would be adequate. Perhaps this could be administered by the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard.

Please remember that this once impecunious yet indefatigable man actually worked his way through the University of Vermont pre-med undergraduate program as well as its medical school. During nearly the entire decade of the 1930s Depression, he often could not afford financially to come home to Edgartown on holidays or school vacations to the very Island town where his ancestors had been the original settlers, as well as its most successful whaling masters and whaleship owners.

We, his former patients who benefited from his unique medical skills and knowledge so handsomely over nearly a half century, should want to make it easier for future Island children to get to medical school and then, hopefully, return to the Island to set up a family practice.

I think Doctor “Bob” just might be quite pleased by this idea. Perhaps his family and close friends could make this happen?

Peter C. Josephs