|Eugene Chapman (Bit) Sherlock, M.D.
Eugene Chapman (Bit) Sherlock, M.D.
I first heard about Bit Sherlock from Dr. M. J. Jurkiewicz, my teacher, mentor and good friend. He formed an integral part of a very successful travel club, recently described by Dr. Mel Spira in his address for the 2nd Trustee’s Lecture of the ASPS Annual meeting in Orlando, Fl. (Sept. 2017).
I really got to know Bit as I moved, to Birmingham, AL. In July, 1985 to start a Training program in Plastic Surgery at UAB (Univ. of Alabama- Birmingham) with Dr. James C. Grotting. I had left the position of Chief of Plastic Surgery at UCSF. (Univ. California San Francisco)
Since my first days in Birmingham Bit would take me for dinner at the Birmingham Country Club. I clearly remember Bit telling me how great UAB was, particularly in surgery, as he compared the UAB Surgical Department with the salient surgical programs in the country.
In our first year, Bit never failed to attend our plastic surgical conferences and particularly our grand rounds. He always arrived early, and wanted to know how the program was doing. Talking rapidly, clearly, with his face inches from mine, he would tell me the most hilarious anecdotes of his surgical training under Dr. Champ Lyons, to the point, I could not stop laughing. His joyful mood was smoothly transmitted to the atmosphere of the conference. As surgical cases were presented, Bit’s comments were anxiously expected because they were appropriate, but often remembered as, funny. This fact made our grand rounds the most popular conference in the medical center.
Bit, was not only funny, but more importantly was a dedicated physician, an elegant and skilled surgeon and a natural teacher and educator.
Born, grown and educated mostly in Alabama. He practiced plastic surgery in Birmingham, Al. But he was also exposed to notable areas of the world. Part of his college education was at “L’Universite de Paris a la Sorbonne”.
He travelled and visited important Ports of the World as he in the US Navy. He was the Lieutenant Commander and ship doctor in the Aircraft Carrier “The Intrepid.”
He trained in Medicine and general surgery at the Medical College of Alabama, presently known as UAB . He trained in Plastic Surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.
As a faculty member of the Department of surgery at UAB, Bit was well recognized and respected for his expertise in Head and Neck Surgery. Alongside Dr. William Maddox another Memorial Hospital trained Cancer surgeon and Past President of the Head and Neck Society, they formed a unique team that provided up to date extirpative and reconstructive surgical care to patients with head and neck cancer in Alabama and surrounding southern states.
Patient care as well as resident teaching was the uppermost objective in Bit’s professional life. He excelled in both!
There was no plastic surgical training at UAB at that time, but Bit was a role model and was instrumental in encouraging residents to seek training in plastic surgery at other institutions.
Later in his life, Bit left the full time faculty for private practice. He continued being an academician, teacher, patient advocate and clinical professor. He fulfilled the jobs of chief of plastic surgery and chief of surgery at the private hospital. Medical students were often assigned to him.
Even though his health started to decline during the last few years of his life, (due to emphysema) , he still found time to play his beloved golf game, to see his friends and take his former, old surgical staff, ( including his secretaries) to lunch , to delight them with old and new anecdotal stories.
Bit’s legacy is his surviving wife Jean, his five daughters and eleven grandchildren.
Everyone who knew Bit will miss him. Recognizing his honesty, kindness, surgical deftness and unequalled ability to tell and “embellish” surgical stories of his surgical training.
Luis O. Vasconez, M.D.