Alumnus pays it forward with a home sweet home

MD studentsDecember 5, 2016

Ed Grossenbacher, M.D. '64, remembers his days as a medical student as some of the hardest, but also the most enjoyable challenges of his life. 

"There were some extraordinary faculty members to learn from, and I immersed myself in the challenge of becoming the best physician I could," he said.

He also remembers living wherever he could to support his studies – even if that meant, for a period of time, sleeping in his car. So when he learned of the increasing level of M.D. student need, his first thought was not necessarily around scholarship support. "How and where medical students live plays a significant role in how they do," he said.

In September 2014, Dr. Grossenbacher purchased a property on Marquam Hill and set about finding students in the M.D. program whom he could support by offering accommodation at no charge. His first cohort of three students took up residence early in 2015.

Dr. Grossenbacher is probably the most service-oriented "landlord" a student could wish for, say the students. He often helps them stock the refrigerator with supplies and fresh fruit for snacking. He and the students host barbeques and make a concerted effort to integrate themselves into the neighborhood and its activities.

"This is an incredible investment in our future," said Ishan Patel who, along with Glenn Kautz and Paul Montgomery, is among the first medical students to receive support through this initiative. "Dr. Grossenbacher has helped us tremendously by significantly lowering our debt and therefore allowing us to keep our minds open as to the careers we pursue."

Dr. Grossenbacher has now founded the Hippocrates Oath Oregon Foundation (HOOF), a non-profit to encourage and facilitate other donors who might wish to follow his lead. "All I had to do as a student was find dollars for books," he said. "It's different now. I am so happy to be able to 'pass it forward' and offer this accommodation for today's students." 

For further information about HOOF, contact to be connected to Dr. Grossenbacher.

In photo, above: Medical students and "Marquis" housemates Glenn Kautz (seated), Ishan Patel (back, l.) and Paul Montgomery (back, r.), with a picture of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. The house is so named after Google insisted on correcting "Marquam" to "Marquis" on the Google Document the housemates used to arrange their move in.