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Raised in New York City, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Washington, D.C., William F. Quigley, M.D. benefited from a Jesuit education in high school and in college, which he attended on an ROTC scholarship. Needing doctors as well as artillery officers, the U.S. Army granted him then a four year deferment from active duty to attend New York Medical College. After receiving his M.D., Dr. Quigley paid his obligation to the military while completing his internship and residency training in general surgery at U.S. Army hospitals in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Hawaii. In 1962 Captain Quigley extended his career in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a rookie surgeon in the hospital at Fort Ord, California, where he advanced to Chief of General Surgery. In 1964, he was assigned to the 56th General Hospital at the U.S. Army post in Verdun, France, as Chief of Surgery and Chief of Professional Services. He soon became commanding officer of that institution.
In 1967 Lieutenant Colonel Quigley honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Medical Corps and went into private practice in Waterbury, Connecticut as a general surgeon specializing in peripheral vascular surgery. With 35 years of experience there as a solo practitioner, including his hospital tenures as Chief of Surgery, President of the Medical Staff, and Program Director of General Surgical Residency as well as his executive appointments and committee representation in many local, state, and national medical societies, he had a privileged perspective on the changes affecting the delivery of medical care in America, for better and for worse, over the past sixty years. From Medicaid and Medicare, to Managed Care, to HMOs, to the Affordable Care Act better known as “Obamacare”, Dr. Quigley deplored the trend toward socialized medicine.
William F. Quigley, M.D. died in 2014 at the age of 83. Three days before he died, he happily signed a contract with Grave Distractions to publish the novel he had written in retirement from his profession as a surgeon. He knew his death was close; he hoped his novel might help to save the independence if not also the world-class expertise of the medical profession in America. His novel, Hippocrates Wept, is the farewell address of a masterful surgeon and a hopeful romantic.