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James Franklin Oates III ’51

Published in Oct. 19, 2005, issue

Jim died of prostate cancer April 19, 2005, in Richmond, Va. He was the son of James F. Oates '21.

A graduate of Phillips Exeter, he was a biology major at Princeton and a member of the Pre-Med Society and Tower Club. He graduated in 1955 from Cornell University Medical School and interned in the Department of Surgery at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Brookline, Mass.

Jim was in the Army Medical Corps from 1957 to 1959 at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. In 1960 he started his residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, and later began a general surgery practice there until 1988, when he retired. He was a sole practitioner for many of those years; during that time he performed 7,700 major surgical procedures without being sued, which he felt was largely a result of having talked regularly and often with his patients. This resulted four years ago in the funding and promoting of a course in communicative skills at Cornell Medical School.

Jim married Joan Olmsted in 1953. She survives him together with their four children, Chris, David, Katie, and Tony, and nine grandchildren.

The Class of 1951

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