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DR. DAVID RYTAND, STANFORD 'LEGEND,' DIES AT 82
Dr. David Rytand, professor emeritus of medicine who had a 65-year association with Stanford University, died Saturday after a long illness. He was 82.
Rytand entered Stanford as an undergraduate in 1926 and never left, earning both his undergraduate and M.D. degrees at Stanford and being named to a succession of increasingly important positions at the School of Medicine. He was Arthur L. Bloomfield Professor of Medicine when he retired in 1975.
In 1984, when he was awarded the Albion Walter Hewlett Award, Medical School Ombudsman Dr. Allen Barbour said Rytand "has achieved 'legend-in-his-own-time' status."
The Hewlett Award, named for an internationally known professor of medicine at Stanford who died in 1925, was created to honor academic physicians who excel in their scientific knowledge and application of it to patient care.
Asked at the time of the award to list his greatest achievements, Rytand said: "I taught students and I listened to patients." He said the criteria for the award "are to act like I think a doctor should act. And over the years, that's what I tried to do."
He received many other awards throughout the years, including the Distinguished Service Award of the San Francisco and California heart associations and the Award for Outstanding Contribution in Medical Education from the Santa Clara Valley Medical Society in 1982.
His research concentrated on heart conditions, in particular the circus movement theory that explains why the heart beats irregularly in certain heart disorders.
After receiving his medical degree in 1933, Rytand became in succession an instructor in medicine, an assistant professor, an associate professor and a full professor. He was chairman of the Department of Medicine from 1954 to 1960 and in 1958 became the first Arthur L. Bloomfield Professor of Medicine, the first endowed chair in the Department of Medicine.
He was active in the Stanford Medical Alumni Association for many years and became director of alumni relations in 1981, after his retirement.
Rytand lived in Atherton with his wife, Nancy, to whom he was married for almost 54 years. He is also survived by a daughter, Sally Plaisted of Menlo Park; two sons, David H. Rytand of Anacortes, Wash., and William Rytand of Palo Alto; and six grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Fairchild Auditorium at the School of Medicine. -rg-
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