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Home » » Bassett Medical Center Holding Inaugural David S. Svahn Memorial Lecture on May 24

Bassett Medical Center Holding Inaugural David S. Svahn Memorial Lecture on May 24

Written By Editor on 5/13/24 | 5/13/24

Cooperstown, N.Y. – Bassett Healthcare Network is pleased to introduce its inaugural David S. Svahn Humanities in Medicine Memorial Lecture at Bassett Medical Center. The event, available in-person or via Zoom, will take place on Friday, May 24, at 7:30 a.m. in the hospital’s Clark Auditorium. Cardiologist and storyteller Dr. Michael LaCombe will deliver the lecture. All are welcome.


Series: David S. Svahn Humanities in Medicine Memorial Lecture

SpeakerDr. Michael LaCombe, Cardiologist and Storyteller

WhenFriday, May 24, 2024, at 7:30 a.m.

Where: Clark Auditorium at Bassett Medical Center (1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326)

Zoom attendance

This event honors the late Dr. David S. Svahn, a longtime Bassett physician. Dr. Svahn spent most of his career at 
Bassett Medical Center, first as a resident and then for 30 years as a physician. In 1999, he pursued more deeply his passion for medical humanities and began supervising and teaching medical residents. In 2003, he edited Let Me Listen to Your Heart, a collection of short essays by his Bassett students about their experiences practicing medicine in rural Central New York.

After retiring in 2010, Dr. Svahn moved to Doylestown, PA. He passed away in July 2023.

Dr. Michael LaCombe is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed stories of medicine and more than a dozen books, including Bedside: The Art of Medicine, a collection of fictional stories drawn from his experiences as a physician. In the book’s preface, he states, “I have been a fortunate doctor, sitting as I have been in the front row of the drama of life. Here are some of the stories I have lived, stories of country medicine with lessons for the city as well.” In addition to readings and lectures, theatrical performances of his stories have been recorded and used for medical training in ethics and humanism.

“It is a great honor to host Dr. LaCombe. He is the ideal speaker for this humanities presentation honoring our own Dr. David Svahn,” says Dr. Kai Mebust, Chief of the Department of Medicine at Bassett Medical Center. “Dr. LaCombe’s commitment to his patients and his creative writings about people in the field of medicine reflect the values of compassionate care personified by Dr. Svahn.”

Dr. LaCombe has been a visiting professor at universities around the world. A retired internist and cardiologist, he is a past president of the Harvard Medical School Alumni Council and has served as an associate editor of the “Annals of Internal Medicine” for the medical humanities sections for more than 30 years. He has held positions on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine, on the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians, and on the advisory board of the Maine Scholar. He holds an Honorary Degree in Literature from the University of Southern Maine and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London.

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