UMC physician to retire after 43 years

By Cara Miller

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Even the stork cannot compete with William Scott.

But at least now the stork has a chance to catch up. After 43 years and 10,000 babies, Scott, the University of Arizona vice president for medical affairs, is retiring next month.

RMy retirement has been planned for quite a long time, and IUm ready,S Scott said.

He and his wife Carolyn are building a home in Sonoita and planning to breed and raise Arabian horses, he said.

RWe will now be raising and developing horses instead of babies,S Scott said.

Scott became a Tucson physician in 1951 after receiving his medical degree from the University of Colorado Medical School.

RI knew nothing about Arizona when I came out here. I imagined it as the Sahara desert, but I jumped at the opportunity to get out of Denver for awhile,” Scott said.

“He’s been one of the most outstanding medical leaders in the state for the past four decades,” said Dr. Ernest Schloss, UMC vice president. “We’re all going to miss him a lot.”

Scott was one of the first three faculty members in the obstetrics/gynecology program at University Medical Center and part of the first few years of the natural childbirth program.

“In 1951, the natural childbirth movement was in its bare beginnings and it made you much closer and more intimate with the family,” Scott said.

“Before, the patient came into the hospital, closed the door behind them, and a few hours later brought out their new baby. Now the fathers are involved,” he said.

Scott’s career has been punctuated with many firsts. Not only has he been the first face 10,000 people have seen, but he has been a part of many firsts in the Tucson medical community.

Scott said being one of the first members of the UMC staff was an incredible experience.

“There were no stereotypes to live up to,” he said. “It was just a group of faculty with a wide variety of experiences.”

And Scott had quite an experience when he first started working at UMC.

“When the hospital first opened, every so often a false ceiling would move and a little arm would come out. We finally figured out a sort of monkey was living in the spaces above the ceiling and would appear in one place or another sticking it’s little arm out,” Scott said.

The monkey was eventually caught.

Scott gradually moved into administration, and served as UMC chief of staff from 1977 until 1984, when he became vice president for medical affairs.

“It was a different phase of focus from private to academic. It was more team oriented,” he said. “But it was great to watch the medical changes and be able to react both inside and outside of academia.”

While many parents consider Scott their man of the year for having delivered their bundle of joy, Scott was officially recognized as the Tucson Advertising Club’s Man of the Year in 1972. It was the first time a physician had ever received the award.

Throughout his career Scott has received recognition from Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Health and Who’s Who in the World. The Arizona Medical Association also recognized Scott with a Distinguished Service Award in 1989 and inducted him into the 50 Year Club this year.

Scott has phased out of almost all of his activities and is thinking about going to vet school to learn more about the Arabian horses he is breeding.

“It’s a small community and I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else,” Scott said.

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