Dr. Marion Downs dies at 100

So I learned of a woman that made a big impression on the young Scott (pun intended) when I was in my internship: I worked at University Hospital in Denver in the summer of 1991. I had Dr Sandra Gabbard, Dr Jerry Northern and Dr. Marion Downs. Dr. Northern was off on his many excursions at the time so I only was around him once in a while. But Dr. Downs was a kindly older woman who would spice into conversations with me and would bring me in on some patients to show how she did them.

You have to understand that Marion Downs was a very small woman and I am six foot and at the time 190 pounds. We had a gentleman who was faking a hearing loss in the room of which I had never seen before being such a young student in a busy clinical setting. She turns down the sound to a level where she believes that the patient could hear her speech and starts to complain that this guy was faking his hearing loss and she wasn’t going to deal with him anymore. She had seemingly stopped the test.

All I heard is a strong clang at the soundbooth’s window and then heard his side of the soundbooth door opening. I peeked out after a few seconds hoping that he was gone and would not see me (she was performing the test). He had left in a huff. She turns to me and writes an informal number at a borderline normal area and states, “That’s how you do it Scott.”

“No Dr. Downs. You can get away with that being a very petite woman but I get my hind end beat to a bloody pulp,” I responded back to her. She laughed as if that would never happen. She was a ray of sunshine to be around in those short three months. She would not have remembered me probably with the years gone by with the many students that graced the halls of University Hospital in Denver (that has since moved their campuses in Aurora) but I will never forget her….