READFIELD – Alexander M. McPhedran, M.D., died on Dec. 17, 2021. He was born in Germantown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jan. 3 1929, the third of four children of Janet Randolph Grace and Frederick Maurice McPhedran. His mother was from New York City, his father from Toronto, Canada.Alex attended Germantown Friends School, Harvard College, and completed Harvard Medical School in 1954. He particularly enjoyed history in college and wrote an honors thesis on modern European history.At the start of his last year of medical school in July 1953, he went to college offices to fetch his college diploma. He chanced to meet two former students he had known in college, one being Winifred Libbon. Knowing Alex had done choral singing in college, they invited him to join the University’s summer chorus rehearsal that evening. Winnie and Alex started a short courtship that evening and married Dec. 26, 1953 at the Friends Meeting in Longfellow Park, Cambridge, Massachusetts. They moved in 1954 to Philadelphia for Alex’s initial training at Pennsylvania Hospital. The next year he enlisted in the United States Public Health Service, a uniformed service committed to the service of health. He was assigned to a clinic in Mobile, Alabama where he and Winnie lived until 1957. He cared for officers and crew of one cutter and two buoy tenders stationed in Mobile Harbor. Winnie and Alex developed deep and lasting friendships in Mobile and their first child, Alexander Jr., was born there in 1955.Alex returned to formal training in Boston as an internal medicine resident at Beth Israel Hospital from 1957 until 1959. He learned a great deal from colleagues and teachers, developed a deep interest in neurology and subsequently entered a three-year neurology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital ending in 1963. He was fascinated with using patient history, physical examination and knowledge of anatomy to diagnose and address ailments. In a 1996 interview, Alex said it was “wonderful to be able to combine kindness and consideration together with precision in diagnosis.” David (1957) and Thomas (1960) were born in Boston.In 1963 Alex accepted a neurology faculty position at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and the family moved south. Alex taught extensively, much of it at Grady, the public hospital for Atlanta. He taught medical students and residents with a broad range of training, from second year students up to physicians five years out of medical school. Most days he left home 7 a.m. and returned around 9 p.m. but the work was rewarding. John (1964) was born in Atlanta.Singing continued to be a centerpiece for Alex and Winnie in local Atlanta choruses. During the annual summer trip to Maine, they sang rounds with the boys in the Plymouth station wagon en route and tunes from the musical The Fantasticks around the piano on Ridgewood Island in Little Sebago Lake. At Winnie’s insistence, they bought a boat to keep on Lake Lanier in Georgia to enjoy the water close to home.In the late 1960s, still at Emory, Alex realized that few doctors were practicing general medicine. He was appointed to the National Advisory Council for Regional Medical Programs during the Nixon Administration and reviewed Maine’s grant proposal to address the lack of physicians in rural areas of the state. He became interested in Maine’s plan to start a family practice residency program followed by a medical school. Alex was recruited to help start New England’s first family practice training program and the family moved to Readfield, Maine in 1973.Alex worked full-time at the Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency in Augusta until 1993. He was completely devoted to the training of primary care doctors to serve patients. He was known for teaching to respect each patient, how listening to the patient was of utmost importance and far greater than any test or procedure. He would ask each patient what is happening in their life so he could better understand all factors contributing to their condition. Dozens of residency graduates practiced medicine in rural Maine and expressed gratitude for Alex’s training.Alex and Winnie traveled abroad some, mostly with his dear cousins Nick and Cindy Grace. A sabbatical in Scotland in 1986 was fantastic for Winnie and Alex. They loved their flat, walking throughout Edinburgh in nearby Pentland Hills and exploring the local restaurants.Alex read prolifically in retirement. He was very concerned about humanity, justice, equality and the way people think about each other. He attributed this concern to Winnie and credited her with his entire social conscience. His memory of details and breadth of knowledge was hard to comprehend and continued to his last breath. His knowledge of US history, European history, art history, religions, internal combustion engines, classical music, poetry, etymology inspired awe.He couldn’t stay away from teaching. Shortly after formal retirement in 1993, Alex returned part-time to the residency and worked until February 12, 2021, age 92, his last day of formal teaching.Alex gave and gave and gave. To family, friends, colleagues, patients and community. Winnie and Alex’s home in Maine became an important gathering place for their immediate family and many extended family and friends. Mourning his loss are his sons Alex, Tom and John, their spouses Jayne, Karen and Patty, his grandchildren Andrew (and his wife Rachel), Rebecca (and her husband Dewey and their son Remy), Karen (and her partner Senthil), Ryan (and his wife Molly), Jackson, Carter, Sydney (and partner Jason) and Spencer; also, his brother Peter (and wife Letty), and many others. He was predeceased by his son David, wife Winnie, and siblings Margaret and Janet.Alex’s family is grateful for the doctors and home health nurse who were devoted to him.A celebration of Alex will be held outside on Saturday, July 16 at 1 p.m. at his home in Readfield. Arrangements are in the care of Roberts Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 62 Bowdoin Street, Wiinthrop, ME where memories and condolences may be left at in his memory may be made to the David McPhedran Memorial Scholarship or the Maranacook Community School-Based Health Center. Either may be sent to RSU 38,45 Millard Harrison Drive,Readfield, Maine 04355.

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