A Tragic Loss

Friday, March 22, 2019 9:45 PM

Dave felt it important to write a short piece about his former cardiologist, Dr. Jean Chatham, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly of a massive heart attack on March 2, 2019.  Not only was he a patient-centered physician, but he was also a friend to all of us who knew him.  He and Dave had many pleasant conversations about science and medicine, but also about education in general.  When he told Dave that his son was having difficultly in his high school chemistry course Dave was able to provide some helpful pointers and a copy of a book that helped him.  In the article attached his wife, Indu, said “he was more psychologist than cardiologist. He would put his stethoscope down and say, ‘Tell me what is going on.’”     An example of this was when I was having trouble with my blood pressure and couldn’t maintain a normal potassium level.   Our internist suggested I also see him – he listened and asked me a lot of questions and all of a sudden said “I think I know what it is, Conn’s syndrome”.    He had had a professor in Med School who was involved in some aspect of research on this problem and drilled it into the students’ head.  Rather than expensive tests, he suggested we try a change of medications and it would either work or it wouldn’t and the change would be very fast.   I haven’t had to take another potassium pill since that day, take much smaller amounts of medication and my blood pressure is right where it should be!

He will be missed!  May he rest in peace!