William Owen

Profile Updated: September 9, 2019
Residing In: San Francisco, CA USA
Homepage: https://owenmed.com
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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Apr 27, 2019 at 11:19 PM

Posted on: Apr 27, 2019 at 12:13 PM

Feliz aniversário, Bob! Aproveite o seu dia especial!

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Apr 30, 2019 at 4:51 PM

Posted on: Apr 27, 2019 at 12:09 PM

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Claus!

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Mar 15, 2019 at 1:01 AM

Posted on: Mar 09, 2019 at 8:46 PM

Yet Another Exotic 224 Mini-Reunion - On the Island of Florianópolis, Brazil
Three 224 classmates got together during the post-Carnaval week of 5-10 March 2019 on Praia Mole beach on the island of Florianópolis, off the southern coast of Brazil. Present were Bill Owen, Stan Yantis, Bob Axelrod, and Bob’s Brazilian husband, André Machado. Well, at least one of us (Bob) remembered to pack his Central High cap.

And what could be more appropriate in such an exquisite setting than an off-key rendition of our Central High School song? So, without any further ado, here is the video you have all been waiting for!

And here's the link to the Central 224 forum post with an additional image: http://www.central224.com/class_forums_messages.cfm?mid=273237#273237

William Owen has a birthday today. New comment added.
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Feb 25, 2019 at 6:31 PM

Posted on: Feb 24, 2019 at 4:33 AM

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Feb 17, 2019 at 7:09 PM

Posted on: Feb 17, 2019 at 8:24 AM

Sending you Happy Greetings early! Why not?

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Posted: Nov 02, 2017 at 1:38 PM

William Owen