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In This Issue:
David C. Jacobsen, MD, Surgery
David C. Jacobsen, MD, was known in the Brigham community as a thoughtful teacher, skilled surgeon, and a man who never wore a tie for his first decade at BWH.
Dr. Jacobsen died Nov. 22 at the age of 65, leaving behind a legacy of surgical excellence and compassion.
A staff surgeon at the Kern County Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., until joining Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1991, Dr. Jacobsen was a respected teacher and mentor to his students. He served as an assistant professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and his residents voted him Teacher of the Year on numerous occasions.
“He was absolutely beloved by the house staff, and he was very close to many of the residents,” said David Brooks, MD, director of Minimally Invasive Surgery. “He would send out emails to the staff about different topics in medicine he found interesting and quirky ways to solve problems, similar to how a blog might be written. That was one of the ways he would teach and engage with residents. He was innovative in how he thought about problems.”
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Dr. Jacobsen later moved to the United States, earning his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from the University of Florida. Dr. Jacobsen completed his surgical residency at the University of Arizona.
Outside of BWH, Dr. Jacobsen competed in triathlons for many years and enjoyed wind-surfing on the Charles River. As a licensed pilot, he flew several medical missions to rural Mexico. Family was also a large part of Dr. Jacobsen’s life.
“He was a loving family man who always beamed when he talked of his wife, Gaby, and his sons,” said Cathy Howard, administrative assistant in General Surgical Specialties. “He was a lovely person—honest and forthright. He had a brilliant mind and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He was a voracious reader.”
Dr. Jacobsen is survived by his wife, Gabriella; sons Martin, Matias, Christopher and Brian; mother, Jacqueline; siblings Mardi Mauney, Ken Jacobsen and Garry Jacobsen, and their families; and extended family in Argentina.
A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 1132 Highland Avenue, Needham, on Monday, Dec. 10, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. The burial service in Newton Cemetery will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Jacobsen’s name to the Center for Surgical Education. Checks can be sent to: Brigham and Women’s Hospital c/o Brigham and Women’s Hospital Development Office, 116 Huntington Ave., 5th floor, Boston, MA 02116.