Dedicated doctor remembered for skill, mentoring
Another of Yuma's longtime dedicated doctors has passed on, and he will be missed.
Although Dr. Dale Webb was not my doctor during my many years here in Yuma, he would periodically drop by my office to discuss things that were going on in the community. It was his effort to keep me informed about things to which I should be paying attention.
I don't ever remember him being angry (at least not in the ugly way that seems to be more common these days) about things when he visited, unlike some others who have dropped by to keep me informed. But that did not mean he was not deeply concerned about certain issues. It was just not in his personality, to the extent that I could tell in my relatively small knowledge of him, to hold a grudge or show deep anger. I liked that.
I heard about his passing from Dr. Connie Uribe in an email the day after he died at a medical conference in San Diego. She related some things about him I hadn't known previously and I was even more impressed with Dr. Webb.
Awhile back I wrote a column about how many of us have relied on mentoring during our lives and careers. Most of us remember those who have had a great influence on us with fondness and respect. Dr. Uribe was no exception to that rule when she reflected on Dr. Webb — someone she called a dear friend in her email.
She told a story of being a young medical student and being told by nurses at the hospital that a woman physician would not be welcomed in Yuma. Dr. Webb told her to ignore them. Then a doctor said she couldn't be a surgeon because it was too hard for a “girl.” Dr. Webb told her to follow her dream.
Well, she achieved her dream, came to Yuma and practiced medicine with Dr. Webb in a professional relationship that spanned 23 years. She said she saw him do miraculous things in the operating room that never received the attention they deserved.
This is not the first time I have written a column that involved Dr. Webb. He was part of one I wrote in 2009 about the death of another remarkable longtime Yuma doctor, Dr. William Phillips.
Ironically, part of the connection between the two doctors also involved mentoring.
This time, however, it was about the influence of Dr. Phillips on another budding doctor by the name of Dale Webb.
Dr. Webb had dropped by my office to talk about something when the death of Dr. Phillips, whom he had known for many years, came up. He said Phillips was the one who had encouraged the youthful Webb to stick to it and become a doctor. In Phillips' later years, Webb served as kind of an “on call” personal physician for Dr. Phillips after he retired.
Both Dr. Webb and Dr. Phillips were “no nonsense” individuals who were deeply committed to serving the medical needs of this community and were much respected in return. They will be remembered for dedicating their professional lives to helping the people of Yuma County.
Terry Ross is director of the Yuma Sun's News and Information Center. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone: 539-6870.