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Arnold Greenhouse, MD

Arnold Greenhouse, MD

Internal Medicine


When I arrived in 1968 there had been changes within the institution. Arnold had been asked to be the acting Chairman of Medicine when Sol Papper MD left, and Bob Stone MD replaced Reg Fitz MD as Dean of the School of Medicine. As the chairman of Neurology, he had taken on this additional position with enthusiasm and confidence with which he welcomed me on a hot July morning. The transitions in leadership occurring in this second five-year period of the first half-century demonstrated the expected need for bringing in long term building of the School of Medicine after the initial beachhead of establishing this new initiative. Arnold was clearly a part of this new leadership group, focusing upon a ten-year strategic plan to surmount the challenges that lay ahead.

This pioneering flavor was in the air, and the feeling of rolling up our sleeves and making it happen was everywhere. As I recall, the Bernalillo County Indian Hospital in which the clinical teaching was housed, was converted to the Bernalillo County Medical Center (BCMC) and the history of caring for indigent patients with no billing of patients, was in need of a new business plan. It was not clear how the SOM could be a financially secure business model, but this did not stand in the way of moving forward. The clinical faculty who started the school were predominantly volunteer practicing physicians from the private community, and it was time to recruit academic research oriented clinical faculty in parallel with the earlier recruited academic basic-science faculty.

Arnold was able to stabilize the new clinical faculty that were arriving, and oversee the hiring of a new chairman of medicine, Ralph Williams MD, who would accept the responsibility of building a hard-core academic Department of Medicine. Having accomplished these steps, Arnold returned to lead the Department of Neurology into a strong academic program that has continued to this day.

As a long-time friend and colleague, Arnold was a man for all seasons, and his enjoyment of downhill skiing reflected a memorable aspect of his academic character: always in front down the steepest of hills, and always cheerfully encouraging those of us with less experience. I remember always as he would shout out the mantra of his life, “follow me,” and disappear in a cloud of snow down the slope.

In my perspective, his role in helping the school of medicine achieve the excellence that we enjoy today was key, and wonderful to recall.

— R. Philip Eaton MD, Emeritus Executive Vice President, UNM Health Sciences Center

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