John W. Grover was born in rural eastern West Virginia in 1927, and grew up learning to love nature and how humans relate to one another. Just before the end of WWII, he enlisted in the US Navy and became an electronics tecnnician. At the war’s end, he “shipped over” to the regular Navy for four years, in order to qualify for the WWII “GI Bill of Rights” to gain financial support for college and medical school. At the end of his “hitch” in 1949, he entered Harvard College, which he completed in three years, with college credit for his Naval service. He graduated “cum laude” from Harvard Medical School in 1956, and as a Josiah Macy, Jr. Fellow in Obstetrics and Gynecology, completed three years of general surgery at the Massachusets General Hospital.
The next two years he spent in Cambridge, England, as a USPHS Fellow studying cell biology in tissue culture. On his return to the United States, he completed his post-graduate Fellowship training at the then Boston Lying-In Hospital and the Free Hospital For Women (now part of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital). From 1964 until 1979, he was a member of the clinical and teaching staffs of the MGH and the BLIH, with an HMS appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor. During these years, he helped produce several well-known movies for pationt education on Family Centered and Natural Childbirth. He was also publically active in promoting rational birth control and legal pregnancy-termination issues, and testified before the Massachussetts Legislature.
In 1979, he was appointed as the first full-time Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinis, where he helped develop both low-risk family centered obstetrical care and high-risk perinatal services. Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and Gyn Oncology progams were also developed during his tenure.
He retired as Chairman in 1993, and retired from clinical practice and teaching in 1997. During this period, he had clinical academic appointments at the Univerisity of Chicago, Rush Medical School, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
In addition to making the teaching films in Obstetrics, he published scientific papers on his tissue culture research, a popular book on Venereal Disease, and collaborated on several books on Family Centered and “Non-Violent” childbirth.
Always interested in writing, he spent many summers at the University of Iowa’s Summer Writing Festival, and was an active member of the Off Campus Writers Workshop in Winnettka, Illinois, editing their newsletter for more than five years. He has written two novels with medical themes, which he self-published. The first novel, “No More Babies” dealt with the malpractice insurance crisis in obstetrics as seen in 1988. The second, “One Definition of Love” is a semi-autobiographical novel dealing with a surgeon who writes about his complex clinical experiences in the “Big City”, while retaining his life-long connections with his home town in rural West Virginia.
Dr. Grover has recently moved to Southern California, where he and his wife, Philippa, now live near San Diego close to their second daughter, Amy and her husband Chris. Though now limited in his connections with clinical medicine, he continues to write both essays and fiction that both entertain and help others understand the problems and satisfactions of a medical career in the USA during the 20th century.
Music has been a major interest in his life, and he has enjoyed many venues from the Harvard University Band to the “Dixie Downbeats”, a jazz band in illinois, and a simple duo playing old jazz pieces for the enjoyment of fellow residents of his current retirement community. He also has spent a lifetime singing tenor in church choirs from Washington, DC and Boston, through Chicago all the way to Southern California. “Though my clinical and scientific experiences have been wonderful and varied,” John says, “My greatest personal satisfactions in my life have come from writing, and making music.”
If you would like to get in touch with John, and let him know what you think about his stories, or ask him any questions, feel free to do so! His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org