William Owen

Profile Updated: August 17, 2018
Residing In: San Francisco, CA USA
Homepage: http://www.owenmed.com
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Occupation: Physician (M.D.), Retired 2/1/2017
Post secondary school education

Temple University, B.A. with honors in chemistry, 1969
Temple University School of Medicine, M.D., 1973
Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA (affiliate of Tufts University School of Medicine), internship & residency, internal medicine, 1976
University of California San Francisco, fellowship, emergency medicine, 1978

What's happened since leaving Central

Coordinator, Emergency Medicine Fellowship, UCSF, 1978-1979
Private practice, internal medicine, San Francisco, 10/1/1979-12/30/2014
Staff Physician, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, 1/5/2015-1/31/2017
Retired, 2/1/2017

School Story:

In 9th grade, I was sitting on the stairway just outside CHS Room 202, reading the Cortina German book while I was waiting for Basil Fuller's history class to begin. Another 224 class member, Stanley Yantis, whom I did not know at the time, approached me, struck up a conversation, and asked me if he could look at the Cortina book (a conversational German book I had purchased, as opposed to the grammar and literature oriented German textbook they employed at Central). That was the start of a friendship that included my getting to know his parents and celebrating the Jewish holidays with them and Stan getting to know my Mom and Dad and celebrating our Christian holidays with my family. I moved to San Francisco in 1976 and Stan would follow with a move to The City by the Bay in 1985. So from that day in September 1961 until now, nearly 54 years later, Stan Yantis and I have remained the best of friends.

Central's influence in my life

Central High was unique for a high school in the 1960s in that, unlike the conformity that was often fostered in public education in that post-McCarthy era, Central taught us that you could be an iconoclast and thereby contribute in some significant way to our society. I remember history teacher Ben Sherzer, who came out against the Vietnam War way before it was popular to do so. I recall Richie Logan, the English teacher, who relished playing the female roles when we read Shakespearean plays. And, of course, there were my fellow Centralites of the 224, who showed me what it meant to be an independent and critical thinker. That spirit of iconoclasm eventually led me to come out as a gay man in a big way, by being a founder in 1977 of one of the first organizations of gay and lesbian physicians in the U.S. (Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights--BAPHR--an organization that still thrives today), and coming out publicly with BAPHR following the Gay Pride Parade in 1978, with news interviews that were carried across the country. The iconoclastic influence of Central also led to my writing two of the first reviews of LGBT health care to appear in a major medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, which were published in June and July 1980. The iconoclastic spirit of our alma mater also influenced me to become publicly identified in the national medical press as one of the first "AIDS doctors" at a devastating time in the gay community when we had a President of the U.S. who would not even utter the "A" word. For giving me the courage to stand up for what I believe and for providing me with the fortitude to blaze new trails, I thank my alma mater, dear old Central High.

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Sep
23
Sep 23, 2018 at 8:46 PM

Posted on: Sep 23, 2018 at 2:29 PM

Congratulations, Richard, on the addition of the "Emeritus" to your title. It is well-deserved after so many years of service to the students (and faculty) at CCP.

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03
Sep 03, 2018 at 1:03 PM
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22
Aug 22, 2018 at 12:24 PM
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Aug 20, 2018 at 11:34 AM
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18
Aug 18, 2018 at 10:50 AM

Posted on: Aug 17, 2018 at 7:21 PM

Amidst all of the disheartening news on the nightly newscasts these days, there was one heartwarming story on Friday 8/17/2018 in the "Brief But Spectacular" segment at the end of the PBS NewsHour about Flossie Lewis, a 91 year old Brooklyn-born and bred former teacher at San Francisco's academic Lowell High School (SF's equivalent of Philadelphia's Central High), who returns to Lowell to meet in a classroom containing a dozen of her former students who loved her (and vice versa). My niece, Amanda Owen-Walkup, attended Lowell and I have passed this clip along to her but I also thought it would be worthwhile for our 224 classmates to watch this. Flossie Lewis certainly brings to mind the nostalgia we all feel for many of our teachers who inspired us at Central.

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Aug
13
Aug 13, 2018 at 2:00 PM
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06
Aug 06, 2018 at 3:27 PM

Posted on: Aug 06, 2018 at 12:44 PM

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Jul 26, 2018 at 5:52 PM
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Jul 26, 2018 at 1:16 PM
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Jul 16, 2018 at 1:55 PM
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15
Jul 15, 2018 at 12:34 PM

Posted on: Jul 15, 2018 at 1:14 AM

Oi Stanzinho, feliz aniversário! Acredito que você atualmente deve estar curtindo uma maravilhosa experiência auditiva e gustativa no festival de música clássica em Newport, RI. E espero que o clima seja ideal para a sua visita da próxima semana para o litoral da cidade Ventnor na Nova Jersey. Parabéns pra você! :-)

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Jul 15, 2018 at 6:36 AM

Posted on: Jul 15, 2018 at 12:42 AM

Happy birthday, Richard! I hope you and Tom have planned something interesting, exciting, and fun on this special day for you.

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Jun
25
Jun 25, 2018 at 7:18 PM
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Jun 25, 2018 at 5:52 PM

Posted on: Jun 24, 2018 at 5:45 PM

Happy Pride 2018! Note gigantic pink triangle on top of Twin Peaks just left of the TV tower on Mt Sutro. It's a sober reminder of 1000s of homosexuals who were imprisoned & murdered in Nazi concentration camps. On every San Francisco Gay Pride Weekend, a large volunteer group spends hours on Fri PM securing the pink cloths & removing them on Sun PM.

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May
24
May 24, 2018 at 1:54 PM
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May
07
May 07, 2018 at 2:19 PM

Oi Stanzinho, I've posted a summary and a few photos from our mini-224 reunion in New Orleans (April 26-30, 2018) with our classmate, Bob Axelrod, and Bob's Brazilian husband, André, in the Forums threads of our 224 class website. Here is a link to this thread: http://www.central224.com/class_forums_messages.cfm?tid=51234. Beijos, "Guilherme"

William Owen posted a message.
May 07, 2018 at 2:14 PM

Oi Bob, I've posted a summary and a few pix from our mini-224 reunion in New Orleans during the last weekend in April in the Forums section of this 224 class blog. Here is the link: http://www.central224.com/class_forums_messages.cfm?tid=51234. Safe travels back to Curitiba, Brazil! Abraços, Bill

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May 07, 2018 at 1:04 PM
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May
01
May 01, 2018 at 7:23 PM
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Apr
22
Apr 22, 2018 at 1:34 AM

@Marc Reuben, thanks for your recommendation to see "The Death of Stalin". Stan Yantis and I watched it on 4/20/18 at the Embarcadero Cinema in SF. I wrote a "mini-review" of the film that I posted on the 224 class blog within the thread of your announcement. Best, Bill

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Posted: Nov 02, 2017 at 1:38 PM

William Owen