August 1, 2008

Moore remembered for intellect, drive, compassion

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Allan F. Moore, M.D.

Moore remembered for intellect, drive, compassion

Allan F. Moore, M.D., a 2003 graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Young Alumnus Representative on the Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors, died last week in Philadelphia from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. He was 31.

Dr. Moore, a fellow in endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital, was researching the prevention and complications of diabetes there and at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and was also was working toward a master's degree in medical science at Harvard Medical School.

His wife, Rebekah Gee, M.D., who was also seriously injured in the accident, is an obstetrician-gynecologist and a Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. She is the daughter of former VU chancellor Gordon Gee.

“Allan was an outstanding student at Vanderbilt whose dedication to medicine was apparent from the start,” said Bonnie Miller, M.D., associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. “Despite his serious approach to work, he had a gentle sense of kindness and humor that always shone through. He will be sorely missed.”

A native of Danville, Va., Dr. Moore was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and a Canby Robinson Society Scholar while a student at Vanderbilt and received the Albert Weinstein Prize in Medicine from Vanderbilt, given to a student who has demonstrated high scholastic attainment and qualities.

He is remembered not only for his intellect, but for living his life joyfully.

“Allan was one of the brightest and sharpest minds I've encountered,” said Joshua Vessel, M.D., Ph.D., a Vanderbilt resident and close friend. “I was always impressed not only by his grasp of facts and concepts, but also by his incredible work ethic and drive. Much more important than these, though, was the joy that Allan took in everything he did, whether it was at work, at play, or just at home. Allan was the best kind of colleague and friend to have, because he made you want to be like him.”

Sam Hong, M.D., another close friend and Vanderbilt gastroenterology fellow, remembers Dr. Moore for the questions (rarely just one at a time) that he asked his Vanderbilt professors and for his sincere friendship.

“During medicine residency, we would talk on the phone about our struggles as young physicians and he encouraged me during my bad days,” Hong said. “We joked about working as attendings in an academic medical center one day and referring difficult patients to each other. I will always treasure the times we spent together in the past nine years.”

Agnes Fogo, M.D., professor of Pathology, was one of many Vanderbilt friends who attended Dr. Moore's wedding in 2006. He was not only smart, but compassionate, she remembers.

“He was a student with outstanding intellectual gifts, who also focused his learning on the task of becoming the best doctor, and not just achieving the best grades. My heart goes out to his family. He was a wonderful young man, and we will all miss him terribly.”