Arthur B. French

Arthur B. French
Dartmouth Medical School, Class of  1941

Arthur B. French, a retired internist with a specialty in gastroenterology and member of a family with deep roots at DMS, died on April 26, 2011. He was 92.

Dr. French was a son of Harry Tapley French, DC ’13, DMS ’14, a professor of anatomy and neuroanatomy at DMS and a founding member of the Hitchcock Clinic in 1927. All three of his children – Arthur, Rowland (DC ’41, DMS ’42) and Elizabeth – followed him into the medical profession. Although Elizabeth (Betty) French was unable to attend the then-all-male DMS, she became the first woman to be appointed a full professor at DMS and the first female member of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic.

After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1940 and DMS in 1941, Dr. Arthur French received his MD from Johns Hopkins in 1943. Following a rotating internship at Philadelphia General Hospital, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Britain from 1944 to 1946. He then completed a residency in internal medicine at Fort Howard VA Hospital in Baltimore and a fellowship in gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Upon completing his training in 1951, Dr. French took a position at the University of Utah College of Medicine. In 1955, he moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he taught at the University of Michigan Medical School, rising to professor of internal medicine and chair of the Department of Gastroenterology. At the affiliated University Hospital, he established the gastroenterology research ward (his own research interest was gluten intolerance) and for many years served as director of the hospital’s Clinical Research Unit.

Dr. French retired from the University of Michigan in 1985 as professor emeritus, internal medicine. He maintained a medical practice at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit until his retirement in 1997. Dr. French’s professional memberships included the American Physiological Society, the American Gastroenterology Association, the Institute of Nutrition, the American Society of Clinical Nutrition, and the American College of Physicians.

Dr. French is survived by his sons Harry, Rowland (DC’69), John, Arthur Jr., and Charles, his daughter, Julia, and their families, including four grandchildren; and by his companion of ten years, Beverly Ward. He was predeceased by his sister, Elizabeth, and his brother, Rowland.


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