Author + information
- Published online November 25, 2019.
- Douglas L. Mann, MD, Editor-in-Chief: JACC: Basic to Translational Science∗ ()
- ↵∗Address for correspondence:
Dr. Douglas L. Mann, Editor-in-Chief, JACC: Basic to Translational Science, American College of Cardiology, Heart House, 2400 N. Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.
“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”
—John F. Kennedy (1)
I performed my first research project with Alfred “Fred” Bove, MD, PhD, in 1981, while I was a medical resident at Temple University Hospital (2). In keeping with my complete naiveté about how to perform research, Fred suggested a clinical project that was simple by today’s standards but allowed me to learn first-hand about the difficulties inherent in performing rigorous and reproducible quantitative measurements. The project also afforded me the opportunity to learn something about statistics. Sadly, Fred passed away on October 17, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. During the years that Fred was battling his illness, he also taught me a lot about life: dignity in the face of hardship, respect for everyone, passion and positivity for everything, and the importance of maintaining a sense of humor (albeit quirky).
Alfred Bove, MD, PhD, earned both his medical and doctoral degrees at Temple University and was Professor Emeritus, having served as Section Chief of Cardiology (twice) and as Associate Dean. He was also an expert in underwater physiology and medicine, which he learned as an undersea Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the Navy, he became an officer in the Naval Reserve and was active duty during Operation Desert Storm; he retired from the Navy after serving his country for 33 years. Fred devoted his career to seeing patients, doing research, and teaching medical students, residents, and fellows at Temple. The breadth of his research interests was extremely broad and included studies on basic cardiac physiology, coronary disease, exercise physiology, environmental medicine, and management of heart failure and cardiovascular risk factors. He was an early adopter of what has now become telemedicine. As an educator, Fred was almost without peer in terms of the breadth of his educational impact. He served as Editor-in-Chief of ACC's member magazine Cardiology, ACC's former educational website Cardiosource.com, the news magazine CardioSource WorldNews, and until very recently, was also the editor-in-chief of ACCEL, the ACC's audio journal, which has had enormous impact for physicians who were interested in keeping abreast of the latest developments in cardiovascular medicine. Along the way, he also became Master of the American College of Cardiology, President and Trustee of the American College of Cardiology, a team physician for the Philadelphia 76ers, and was a leader in the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. All of this brings me to another 1 of Fred’s remarkable qualities: he had boundless energy.
Can 1 person make a difference? If 1 is extraordinarily lucky, 1 gets the chance to meet and learn from a person like Dr. Alfred Bove once in a lifetime. Fred made a huge difference through his service to his country, to the lives of his patients, and to the lives of the countless trainees whom he influenced over the 50-year arc of his career. However, I think that Fred’s unique gift was not that he made a difference in the lives of people but rather that he had the ability to inspire so many of us to make a conscious decision to try to make a difference with our own lives. For me personally, he introduced me to the joys of research, the imperative of teaching and mentoring others, and the importance of facing personal challenges with strength and courage. Since Fred’s death was announced, there has been a constant stream of warm comments about him on multiple e-mail chains and texts. I wanted to close this remembrance with the comments of Dr. Ralph Brindis (with permission), who became the ACC president the year after Fred: “A huge loss of an incredible man. Focused, brilliant, kind and disciplined with a moral compass surpassed by none. A mentor to so many at both Temple and at the ACC. I learned so much at the feet of this giant. His legacy will be long lasting.” I could not agree more.
- 2019 The Author
- ↵Goodreads. John F. Kennedy. Quotes. Available at:. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/129734-one-person-can-make-a-difference-and-everyone-should-try. 22102019.