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Opinion

Remembering a doctor who cared

You know the expression, "out of sight, out of mind?" This only applies if we don't make an effort not to forget someone who has meant a lot to us. Dr. Mason Lord was one such individual who dedicated his life as a young physician to making a difference in the medical care of patients seemingly left behind because of the aging process. He cared and he cared a lot for these elderly citizens who faced spending the rest of their lives in the hospital.

At the D building at Baltimore City Hospital, he found early in his career a way to help these chronic patients to get better and to be discharged from the hospital. He developed a team of workers that included physical therapists, social workers, occupational workers and community-minded persons including the clergy. He would find homes in the community where aged and handicapped individuals might live with the help of home care visits. He began a system of care that to this day continues in the East Baltimore area. It would serve as a model for the nation.

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He would die young at age 38 from a brain tumor. This month, we are approaching 50 years from his death. Dr. Mason Lord is now remembered through his legacy of what he was able to accomplish in these elderly and debilitated patients at the old Baltimore City Hospital. Baltimore Sun reporter Louis Azrael wrote an op-ed about Dr. Lord entitled, "A man who lived to help others." Indeed, he has helped many others in that this type of care continues. Mr. Azrael described Dr. Lord as "strikingly handsome" and wondered why he would chose that specialty to enter. I think that Dr. Lord found a way to help patients who were being somewhat neglected and made that field glamorous enough to challenge other professionals to join him in this endeavor.

Thanks, Mason, for all that you did to set us straight. Your Work goes on. Building D is now named the Mason Lord Building and the Mason Lord Lecture Series continues to value his contributions to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Dr. Raymond D. Bahr, Baltimore


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