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Witenberg, E.G. (1975). Eulogy for Janet Rioch Bard. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 3(1):121-123.
(1975). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 3(1):121-123
Eulogy for Janet Rioch Bard
Earl G. Witenberg
Two months short of her 70th birthday, Janet Rioch Bard, the first President of the Academy, died on November 23, 1974. Ill since September, she faced death much as she had faced life; she bade fond farewell to Philip and then died.
The last ten years of her life had been the happiest as the wife of Philip. She had blossomed and had enjoyed a full life as the wife of this distinguished physiologist. She taught at Johns Hopkins and had seen some patients, but she was dedicated to being the partner of Philip.
Her life began in India, as the second child of two missionaries. Her brother, David, the well-known neuropsychiatrist, is four-and-one-half years older than she. Their father was a preacher, and manager of the mission; their mother was a medical missionary rendering service under frequently hazardous conditions.
She spent her youth, until the end of her second year of college, in India. She left only once, for a one-year visit to the United States with her parents when she was fourteen.
She later came to the United States to complete her college education at Butler College. She went on to the medical school of the University of Rochester, from which she graduated in 1930. Hers was the second graduating class of this exciting addition to medical school education. Its faculty was composed of promising young physicians drawn from Hopkins and California. The school was headed by George Whipple who received a Nobel prize for his experimental work on pernicious anemia. The atmosphere in Rochester combined equal parts of research and clinical endeavors, and this pervaded Janet's attitude to the end. She was always clinically astute and interested in verifiable hypotheses; fuzzy thinking was anathema to her.
She became interested in orthopedics and would have pursued this specialty, but women were not allowed into this field. Orthopedics' loss became psychiatry's gain. After internship she did research work at Johns Hopkins in the laboratory of Philip Bard. She then went to the Shepard and Enoch Pratt Hospital for training in psychiatry.
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