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Even before the passing of Dr Ward, I frequently thought about what personal characteristics of this great man led to the development of so many great academicians and leaders in the field of otolaryngology. Paul would occasionally proudly state that he had produced 25 Chairs in our specialty.
He was what I might call “a man’s man.” When young he was tall and athletic and had served in the armed forces. He made friends readily by using a good sense of humor and a great ability to tell stories. The staff once convinced him to try stand-up comedy at one of the clubs on Sunset Boulevard; I was in the audience that night, and he actually was quite funny. At work he always had a highly professional demeanor and was very conservative in dealing with his patients. As an academic clinician scientist, he led by example. I remember him often cleaning the cerumen from a patient’s ears during a visit for a problem unrelated to hearing because they needed it. At scientific meetings he would sit in the front row, listening to and critically appraising every presentation.
Berke GS. A Trainee’s Reflection of Paul H. Ward, MD. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;141(8):684. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2015.1202