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News & Press: History of the Osteopathic Profession

Arthur Rott, DO - History of the Osteopathic Profession

Thursday, December 30, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Stiger, DO
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Today, it was my privilege to interview Dr. Arthur Rott and his wife Christi at their home in West Linn, Oregon.  Dr. Rott like some of the other Osteopathic specialists who practiced at Eastmoreland Hospital had a tremendous impact on the Osteopathic Profession throughout the entire State of Oregon.  Although he was a specialist in Oncology and Hematology and Internal Medicine, his first love was always teaching.  And as a teacher he touched the lives and careers of many of the Osteopathic Physicians who practice in the Northwest and especially in Oregon.


Dr. Rott completed his premed education at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan and at the suggestion and advice of a friend he applied and was accepted at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1969.  He had never lived far from home so his years at Chicago were memorable.  It was a time when a rigorous educational program was introduced requiring weekly exams in all subjects going back to the first week of classes and forward.  Dr. Rott graduated near the top of his class and had his pick of internships, ultimately settling for Zieger-Botsford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.  This 400 bed hospital was a wonderful training ground for young interns.  It was clearly a sink or swim situation as his resident supervisor on nights told him that if he woke him during the night he would break his legs!  Dr. Rott thrived in every area except obstetrics, so he traded night call with the OB resident covering everything in the hospital except OB.


Somehow during that busy time Dr. Rott found time to date his wife Christi.  They met on a blind date.  Christi’s deceased father was a Detroit police detective. They married in 1976, a marriage that has endured to this day.  In 1980 the young couple had a son Barry who is currently pursuing a career as an Osteopathic physician.


Still in Detroit, Dr. Rott entered an internal medicine residency at Zieger-Botsford Hospital, Farmington Hills, Michigan.  Two years later followed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Martin Place Hospital, Madison Heights, Michigan. Finally, in 1978 he completed his training and immediately went into practice with one of his mentors, Harold Margolis, DO in Madison Heights.


With the exception of medical school, Dr. Rott had never travel far from Detroit, the city of his birth and education, and home of his parents.  Though he enjoyed working near his hometown, Dr. Rott became so busy with the practice that he had little time to devote to his new wife Christi or outside activities.  During his practice, Dr. Rott had been in contact with his friend Arnie Miller, DO who had come to Portland as the first Osteopathic Hematologist/ Oncologist at Eastmoreland Hospital. Arnie assured him that specialists in Oregon weren’t required to work long hours and the climate and surroundings were wonderful! A great place to live and raise a son! Little did he know that he had been lured into a very busy practice that not only included the responsibilities of a hematology/oncology practice but the day to day education of interns and medical students!  His sense of humor, his gentle manner, and humility made him an instant success as a teacher and mentor and the hospital staff loved him.  As a result, he was busier and had more responsibilities than ever.


Dr. Rott dry sense of humor and fun manifested itself in the way he taught.  He often reminded folks that he was the only osteopathic “triple boarded” internist, hematologist, oncologist in the state of Oregon, probably of the entire Northwestern portion of the U.S!  At the annual hospital Christmas party, his rendition of The Dreidel Song was famous!  He rarely passed up a chance to have some fun even if was at his own expense.


As a staff member of a small hospital, he had the usual responsibilities of chair of the medicine department, membership and ultimately chairmanship to the medical education committee and finally as Director of Medical Education. Dr. Rott played an important role in the formation of the Family Practice Residency program at the hospital. He was also instrumental in the formation of the FamilyCare Insurance Plan and was its medical director until his retirement in 2006. He has been on the board of directors and chaired multiple organizations. He has also received several awards including Educator of the Year on multiple occasions from the house staff at Eastmoreland Hospital, Charles Carlstrom, DO Lecture Award, DO of the Year award from Osteopathic Physicians of Oregon, J. Scott Heatherington Award from the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation, Pumerantz Lifetime Fellow of Excellence in Osteopathic Medical Education from the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Western University, Pomona, California in 2010.


Portland Osteopathic Hospital, later Eastmoreland Hospital has had a training program since it was founded in 1945. Each year, four or five and sometimes six osteopathic physicians graduated to either practice locally, go on to a residency program, or move to another state. Dr. Rott arrived in 1978 and immediately began to teach interns and students and later residents. We showed him a list of doctors with whom he had had personal contact and trained over the years since his arrival – 137 residents and interns which does not include the many medical students who interacted with Dr. Rott over those years!  Many of these doctors including the dean of the new Osteopathic school are our leaders and practice with distinction in our community today!  What a legacy!


When asked about the most difficult challenge he faced in his career, Dr. Rott explained the challenges of being the spouse of a cancer patient and later as a cancer patient himself. His greatest satisfaction has been his career as a teacher and enjoying the friendship and admiration of his colleagues and students. A recent significant moment in Dr. Rott’s career was to have the thrill of placing a white coat on his son Barry as he embarked on his education as an Osteopathic Physician at WesternU-COMP.


Asked about the future, Dr. Rott said the formation of the new Osteopathic school in Lebanon, and the wholehearted support that project is receiving from the community and around the state hold great promise for the continued success of the profession.

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