DeAngelis CD. Claude H. Organ, Jr, MD, FRCSSA, FRACS. Arch Surg. 2005;140(11):1027. doi:10.1001/archsurg.140.11.1027
Dr Claude Organ was a person with real presence. That is, he had a distinguished bearing and poise that assured all observers of his effectiveness. And effective he was with everything in which he became involved. His material achievements—academic rank, awards, officerships, editorship, etc—were legion but paled when compared with his ability to help people. All of this was the result of one special characteristic: he cared.
I can’t think about Claude without smiling. It just felt good to be in his presence. His dry humor, pithy remarks, and nonverbal body language were educational and entertaining. No meeting was boring if Claude was present. And his writing emulates his persona. I recall a letter from him to an author that stated simply, “Dear Dr _______, Please assure the Editor that the material in your submitted paper is not essentially contained in reference 17.” This was truly a clean surgical cut.
The medical profession has lost a true gem, but Claude Organ’s presence remains through those who had the good fortune to know him.
Correspondence: Catherine D. DeAngelis, JAMA, 515 N State St, 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60610 (Cathy.DeAngelis@jama-archives.org).
Accepted for Publication: August 22, 2005.