Tributes to Phil Dodge (1923-2009)


Joe Volpe's chapter about Phil Dodge in the Founders of Child Neurology (Norman Neurosciences Series), Stephen Ashwal, ed., 1990


There is so much that could be said about Phil's extraordinary abilities and contributions as physician and scientist. But what truly set him apart was the sort of person he was. He attracted some of the greatest of our child neurologists to enter the field and did so because of his personal qualities that everyone wished to emulate and because he was so available for those unpredictable moments when his example suddenly transformed career indecision into a clear vision of the importance of becoming a child neurologist and often a scientist as well. Few have experienced disappointment from making such a decision. Part of the influence must have been his unflinching honesty, his wisdom, his wry and occasionally slightly earthy sense of humor. His honesty at the Monterey CNS meeting irritated some when he told our young field that it had to do better science. That it has done so owes a great deal to his example, encouragement, and support of his remarkable first generation of disciples. More than 25% of all American child neurologists are his training descendants through successive generations of those he trained or their ensuing trainees. More than half of the Dodge Young Investigator Award recipeints descend from the Dodge genealogy.

Phil had as well such an extraordinarily deep sense of caring, caring about all the right things--in addition to science and medicine, he cared especially people and among those especially children, whatever their state and condition. Hugo Moser who had similar qualities and character was among the very first to train with Phil. He told me once that whatever frustrations arose during his career, he had found it was helpful to think about Phil's calm sense of what was right and his determination to make the best of such situations and expecting the best of people. Phil managed to be this way despite having had to face some great disappointments in his own life. Many of us had the honor to do LPs with Phil. He did not stand behind us providing technical support. He expected the best and sat at the head of the child, stroking the hair and singing softly "K-K-Katie" or "My Darling Clementine." I once spoke to Peter Huttenlocher about Phil and about the fact that Peter had taken up in his own practice Phil's position as the singer to children during their punctures. I asked Peter what role he had taken in Peter's career, He thought for a moment and said only "He was the Master."

Rob Rust UVA



From Roger Brumack:  three articles make public by SAGE Publications:

a. An autobiographical piece:
Philip R. Dodge.
How It Began and Developed: A Brief Autobiographical Sketch.
J Child Neurol 1999; 14: 537-540.

b. A tribute by Joseph Volpe:
Joseph J. Volpe.
The Dodge Lecture-1986.
J Child Neurol 1987; 2: 139.

c. A tribute by Robert Rust:
Robert S. Rust.
Child Neurology Society Names Young Investigator Award for Philip Rogers Dodge.
J Child Neurol 2005 20: 627-630.