Former Chief of Otolaryngology, Skilled Teacher, Dies at 95

April 30, 2010

The University of Rochester Medical Center mourns the death of John P. Frazer, M.D., a chief of the former Division of Otolaryngology at the Medical Center who treated patients for 60 years. He died April 27 in Rochester at the age of 95.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Rochester Academy of Medicine, 1441 East Avenue.

“John Frazer was a superb clinician teacher,” said C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., Distinguished University Professor and professor of orthopaedics at the Medical Center. “His commitment to his patients was exemplary as was his loyalty to this Medical Center. He was a true citizen of this institution.”

Seymour I. Schwartz, Distinguished Alumni Professor of Surgery at the Medical Center, recalled Dr. Frazer as “a dedicated member of the faculty and the University community.”

“He felt very strongly about the University and the Medical Center,” Schwartz said. “He was extremely kind and a total gentleman.”

After graduating from the School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1939, Dr. Frazer, a native of Rochester, N.Y., completed his training at the then Cornell-New York Hospital and Yale Medical School. From 1943 to 1946, he served as an instructor and acting chief of otolaryngology at Yale.

In 1948, Dr. Frazer began a private practice in otolaryngology in Honolulu. In Hawaii, he also served as a consultant at Tripler Army Hospital, the State Leprosarium and the Leahi Sanatorium.

Dr. Frazer returned to Rochester in 1963 to lead the Medical Center’s Division of Otolaryngology, a position he held until 1981. During his tenure, the Division of Otolaryngology, which was part of the Department of Surgery, developed the residency program to full specialty training. Dr. Frazer had a particular interest in ear surgery.

Arthur S. Hengerer, M.D., who succeeded Dr. Frazer as head of the division, said he saw patients until he was about 90.

“He lived through the growth of modern otolaryngology and the introduction of antibiotics,” said Hengerer, professor of ololaryngology, who also remembered Dr. Frazer’s great sense of humor and love of storytelling.

John Norante, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology, described Dr. Frazer as “an excellent clinician, a wonderful teacher, an inspiring leader and a cherished friend.”

Dr. Frazer loved hiking and climbing. He went hunting in autumn until he was 94. He attended the School of Medicine and Dentistry reunion in October.

Dr. Frazer was married to the late Doris Larsen Frazer. He is survived by two daughters, Tulle Frazer of Harpswell, Me., and Sherry Frazer of Thomaston, Me., and a grandson, Isaac Frazer Gerard.

Donations can be made to the Hildebrandt Hospice Care Center, 2652 Ridgeway Ave., Rochester, N.Y. 14626, or to a favorite charity.

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