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Saying Farewell to Marvin Schuster

It is with sadness that we inform you that Dr. Marvin Schuster died on May 12, 2017. Dr. Schuster was Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the former Director of the Division of Gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and the Founding Director of the Marvin M. Schuster Center for Digestive and Motility Disorders at Johns Hopkins Bayview. Services and internment were held May 14.

Dr. Schuster was born in Danville, Virginia and received his BA, BS and MD degrees from the University of Chicago. Following his internship at King's County Hospital, he did his subsequent training and spent his entire academic life at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Schuster was an internationally renowned pioneer in research and treatment of motility disorders and gastroenterology. The first gastroenterologist trained both in internal medicine and gastroenterology, Dr. Schuster created the first gastrointestinal division that integrated full–time psychologists and medical faculty. He was also the first to introduce biofeedback into the management of gastrointestinal disorders, and the first to establish a pain management center within a gastrointestinal division. Dr. Schuster retired from research and practice in 2000.

Dr. Schuster's research resulted in seminal publications in such journals as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He identified a non-surgical test that became the gold standard for diagnosing Hirschsprung's disease, and he was the first to record myoelectrical activity from human sphincteric muscle. Dr. Schuster’s many scholarly articles and chapters established him as a preeminent leader in motility disorders.

Dr. Schuster was beloved by his patients. During an era in which the Baltimore City Hospitals (the previous name for Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center) provided care chiefly to residents living near the facility, Dr. Schuster's novel center attracted patients from all over the world.

Dr. Schuster received many honors and occupied numerous prestigious positions. He was a past president of the American College of Gastroenterology and received the Moses Rosenfeld Memorial Award from the United Ostomy Association, the St. George's Award from the American Cancer Society and the Physicians of The Year Award from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

Dr. Schuster was the beloved husband of Dr. Lois Schuster, the father of three daughters and had seven grandchildren. His obituary indicates that contributions in his memory may be sent to the Marvin M. Schuster Center for Digestive and Motility Disorders at Johns Hopkins Bayview.

-David Hellmann and Mark Anderson



Kelsey Bennett

1 thought on “Saying Farewell to Marvin Schuster”

  1. Dr. Schuster and his team treated me at City Hospitals 39 years ago, with great care and great knowledge. I had an anastamosis of a volvulous colon in 1978, leading to a colostomy which was subsequently reversed. Nobody at the hospital to which I was initially referred had either the skill or the inclination to treat this combination of problems, but Dr. Schuster visited me in that hospital and I was soon transferred to City Hospitals, where he and his team performed a series of surgeries that left me weak but alive, which was a major event.

    I wrote here to report something Dr. Schuster once told me, as he was about to intubate me, a particularly miserable procedure for the patient at that time (is it still?). Dr. Schuster told me that he had undergone that miserable procedure himself. I asked him what had been the matter with him. He said "Nothing", but he then explained that he had personally gone through as many of the procedures he would prescribe for his patients as he could. He said he wanted to have an idea of what his patients would be going through when he did something invasive and unpleasant for them. I remembered that at the depth of my fifth surgery in 6 months,
    and I always appreciated what he did and how he cared for his patients. I miss him and appreciate him.

    May he rest in peace.

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