June 8, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 18

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    Dr. Catherine Dobson, 91, healed many in her nearly seven-decade career in OB-Gyn

    Dr. Catherine Dobson, 91, Clinical Associate in Obstetrics & Gynecology, died Thursday, May 11, in Hyde Park. In her career that spanned nearly seven decades, Dobson helped heal thousands of patients and shaped the careers of hundreds of obstetricians and gynecologists.

    Dobson entered Northwestern University Medical School in 1926, the first year that university began to accept female students. She later transferred to the University of Chicago/Rush Medical School from which she graduated in 1930. She served as an associate in gynecologic surgery for Rush and Cook County hospitals and was an instructor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Illinois.

    Dobson worked as a gynecologist for the Mary Bartelme Homes, Youth Guidance and the Jewish Children’s Bureau, all in Chicago. Dobson also privately practiced obstetrics and gynecology from 1936 to 1980.

    After admitting many of her patients to Chicago Lying-in Hospital at the University for nearly 44 years, she joined the University Hospitals staff in January 1981 as a Clinical Associate.

    In 1991, Dobson made provisions for a professorship in her name that would, in part, be funded with proceeds from the sale of a Stradivarius violin she owned. At the time the professorship was established, it was determined it would be awarded to “scholar-scientists who are engaged in the study of reproduction and have a special interest in the problems of infertility.”

    Dr. Arthur Herbst, the Joseph Boliver De Lee Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology, said, “Dr. Dobson was a warm and caring physician who took superb care of her patients, and she was much beloved by them. She was a long-time loyal friend of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the University. I consider myself very lucky to have known her.”

    Dobson’s estate will benefit the University Library and the departments of Music and Obstetrics & Gynecology.