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Richard W. LeechNotify me of new titles added by this author
The author, Dr. Richard W. Leech was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, having two older brothers and three younger sisters. His parents were divorced when was seven years of age and his mother who had never finished high school somehow managed to raise the family by often working two jobs. Although she was able to hold the family together, in many ways the family was badly fragmented. All of the children finished high school; however, Richard was the only one to attend college, graduating from the University of Washington with a BA degree in chemistry in 1957. Quite possibly the most important class was a full year of comparative anatomy, the third quarter being almost entirely devoted to the study of the nervous system. It is interesting to note that the study of the comparative anatomy of the nervous system stimulated me to read Ranson and Clark's classic text book, The Anatomy of the Nervous System; Its Development and Function (W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia) before entering medical school. The tenth edition of the text (1959). was revised by Dr. Clark who in his Preface thanks Dr. Sarah Luse for her electron microscopic illustrations of the nervous system. A few years later Dr. Luse would borrow one of my electron microscopic illustrations of Schwann cell hyperplasia for her Chapter on that cell in Dr. Jeff Minckler's three volume, Pathology of the Nervous System, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, p. 390. Dr. Luse was the neuropathologist for the Department of Pathology, Washington University, St. Louis while I was a resident in anatomic pathology. She swore like a railroader and Dr. Lacy, the Chairman, whose office communicated with hers,would wince whenever she spoke to me. We had excellent communication. Finally, Dr. Minckler's son shared time with me on neuropathology at the University of Washington in Seattle before moving on to ophthalmology. Lastly, Dr. Luse insisted I take neuroanatomy with the School of Medicine's second year medical students. I also took all examinations and any grade less than 100% was simply inconceivable. It is a small world. Moving on, following graduation from medical school, I took an internship at Wayne County Hospital in Eloise, Michigan. It was an extremely busy year and I've always considered it the finest single year of my career. Because the hospital had lost numerous residents to the military draft, the interns were expected to do more and take greater responsibility than at any time before my arrival. The resident staff was superb as were the Medical Directors of each service. It was at Wayne County that I met my future wife, Elaine Lloyd, R. N. Her family lived in Toledo, Ohio, and it was there in the large Lutheran Church that we were wed on the last day of my internship. One of my fellow interns was staying on in surgery and gladly stepped in for me in the emergency room early so that I could drive to Toledo and be ready. My mother had flown in, and my eldest brother drove up from St. Louis, a long 14 hour drive at that time. We left the next to return to my brother's home where we could stay overnight. Then it was on to San Antonio and Aerospace Medical Center where I was to become a Flight Surgeon. I had spoken to the nearest recruitment office and they assured me that if I started on July 4, I would be discharged in plenty of time to begin a residency. In fact that is exactly what happened. The Cuban missile crisis occurred during my time there. A second squadron was sent up and we had refueling KC 97's rolling around the airfield 24 hours a day, right up to the resolution of the crisis. Psychosomatic complaints skyrocketed among the flying personnel whom I visited every day. I carefully documented the breakdown of complaints and the numbers.
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January 05, 2010
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