Alumni Stories

John Rose, M.D. (M’50, H’73)

Former Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine; World War II Veteran

Location: Georgetown Public Policy Institute during Main Campus Reunion Weekend 2008
Producer/Interviewer: Anneliesa Clump Alprin (G’06)
Editor: Lisa Fthenakis (C’10)

John Rose, M.D.

In January 1943, Dr. Rose enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force. He served as navigator of a B-24 in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations and was awarded the Air Medal. After World War II, he received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham in 1946 and his medical degree, magna cum laude, from Georgetown in 1950. He married his wife, Dorothy Anne Donnelly, a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Nursing, in 1948.

After an internship at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Dr. Rose completed a research fellowship and residencies in internal medicine at Georgetown and the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center. From 1963-1973 and 1978-1979, Dr. Rose served as dean of Georgetown’s School of Medicine, retiring in 1991 as emeritus professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics. In 2002, he received the first “Founder’s Award” from Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Additional Resources

Georgetown University School of Medicine

Personal memoirs of World War II

6 responses to “John Rose, M.D. (M’50, H’73)”

  1. What an incredible man! What an incredible generation for us to follow!

  2. A great dean, a passionate defender of Georgetown and truly a man for all seasons.

  3. How I loved John and Dorothy when I was a girl. They were so funny and always laughing. Recently I had contact with the Roses and found them just as solid and charming as ever. I remember you two at the big parties my mom put on at the house on Woodside Parkway. I honor your own grand career, as well as my Dad’s fellow and also as two very important grownups from my childhood.

    Martha Freis Bramhall

  4. John is a giant of Georgetown.

    A lot of people talk about one’s “carbon footprint,” but the footprint John left at Georgetown is huge and visible everywhere. He’s responsible for so much of the look and feel of the medical center campus—not only in the buildings he initiated, but the programs, leaders, and legacies that persist to this day.

    And humble that he is, John didn’t mention that all the time he was either a dean or chair, he was also editor of American Family Physician. This journal, published by the American Academy of Family Physicians, has the third highest circulation of any medical journal—180,000—and is the best-read journal in primary care. Although he had help from some talented Georgetown faculty, he pretty much ran the journal single-handedly, as a sideline hobby of sorts. He served as editor for 27 years, having been with the journal for 33. I’m well aware of the daunting work involved, because I am forever fortunate that 30 years ago John took me under his wing and brought me on as an assistant editor, eventually leading to my taking over as editor when he stepped down from that role. So, in addition to the bricks and mortar at Georgetown, John’s legacy lives on in American Family Physician, a national journal that has been based at Georgetown for over 50 years.

    Jay Siwek, M.D. (C’71, M’76)
    Vice Chair, Department of Family Medicine

  5. How lucky I was to know Dr. Rose through my school chum Nancy, his eldest daughter. Dr. Rose and I both collected stamps, so we would trade duplicates. Now that I’m retiring from the Department of State, perhaps I’ll delve into philately again!

  6. Dr. Rose was a great friend to me during my childhood and during first steps into journalism. We shared philately as an interest. I loved the whole family!

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