by James Storm, MD
It is with great sadness I report that our teacher, supervisor, mentor, colleague and friend Joseph Afterman, MD, died on the morning of February 7, 2014.
Dr. Afterman was born in Chicago on November 28, 1925. He served in the navy as a communications officer in the Pacific during World War II, shipped out from San Francisco, and was determined to return here, which he did after graduating from medical school at the University of Chicago, Class of 1951. He interned at Mt. Zion, did a residency at Menlo Park VA hospital and at Mt Zion, and then did his adult and child analytic training at SFPI. He was on the staff at Mt. Zion, where he taught classes and supervised residents until the hospital closed. In addition to his work at Mt. Zion, he taught and supervised in child analysis at SFPI until his retirement.
I was very fortunate to know Joe in all his professional roles and as a friend. When my firstborn needed multiple transfusions, he was the first to volunteer to donate. He supervised me on my most unusual and trying child analytic training case; a case on which several experienced older analysts had given up because they could not tolerate the patient's behavior. I could not have tolerated the work either, much less completed that analysis were it not for Joe's patient, insightful, and supportive supervision. He was a friend and provided me an example for living in both good times and in difficult times.
When I asked my child analyst friends what they remembered most about Joe, I found that we all said the same things: “He was engaging, compassionate, a role model for me; down to earth. He spoke in a clear manner, avoiding complex, theoretical language. He loved to help people and cared deeply for them…a gentle, supportive presence in the office and outside the office, accepting, insightful, patient, and tolerant.
I personally never heard anyone, colleague or other, say a single negative word about Joe. He will be missed by all of us who knew him.