Dr. John H. Shaw, 82, Catonsville physician

April 02, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. John H. Shaw, a retired Catonsville family practice physician who did not take insurance payments, just a modest flat fee for his services, died of an apparent heart attack March 26 at the Fairhaven Retirement Community in Sykesville, where he moved last year. He was 82.

Born in South Hill, Va., he earned his pre-medical degree from Hampden-Sydney College and moved to Baltimore in 1943 to attend the University of Maryland School of Medicine. After receiving his medical degree, he did his internship at what was then St. Agnes Hospital.

Dr. Shaw, who had lived in Ellicott City for many years, remained affiliated with St. Agnes the rest of his professional career and served two terms as president of its medical staff. He also had been chief of family practice for its department of medicine. He retired in 1995.

"John was in many ways a role model because he cared so much about the patients," said a colleague, Dr. Stephen Plantholt. "He was concerned about their spiritual and emotional health. He treated the whole person and not just the disease."

Dr. Shaw had an office at Edmondson Avenue and Overbrook Road. Family members said he did not like health maintenance organizations and declined to belong to Blue Cross. He charged a flat fee for his services - at the end, it was $35. He also made house calls.

In retirement, Dr. Shaw kept a black address book and would call his former patients, whose phone numbers he had memorized, monthly in alphabetical order.

"He was an old-time family doctor," said his wife of 23 years, the former Diane Owens, who was also his medical secretary. "He called his patients at least once a month and asked them how they were doing. His patients also contacted him, too, to get his advice."

Services were held Monday at Bethany United Methodist Church, where he was a member.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two sons, John H. Shaw Jr. of Houston and David M. Shaw of Atlanta; a daughter, Elizabeth A. Goodwin of Glenwood; two stepdaughters, Melodie A. Todd of Hurlock and Melissa L. Shaw of Hanover; and seven grandchildren.

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