Dr. John E. Brewer

Dr. John E. Brewer, 1970

B.A., Denison University
M.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

Retired Professor

Aiken, South Carolina and Madison, Wisconsin

Dr. John E. Brewer ’70Dr. John Brewer has dedicated his personal and professional pursuits to providing quality health care to medically underserved people. His career has taken him across the United States and around the globe, while his work as a university professor has left a broad legacy that will endure for generations.

John graduated from Denison with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics in 1970. While a student, he participated in numerous activities including Alpha Phi Omega (service fraternity, president), Kappa Sigma fraternity, Chapel Choir, Denison Campus Government Association, and the Denison Chemical Society. John earned induction into Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Epsilon Delta (pre-medical honorary, president), Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics honorary, president), and Omicron Delta Kappa (men’s leadership honorary). However, his proudest achievement at Denison was meeting his lifelong partner and spouse, Carol Straith Brewer ’72.

Immediately following his undergraduate studies, John continued his education, earning a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Rochester in 1974 and serving as his class’s commencement speaker for the medical school. He is board-certified in family medicine with a qualification in geriatrics.

Upon completing his residency, John continued his calling to serve others, starting with two years as a volunteer physician at Bambur General Hospital in Gongola State, Nigeria. He has also volunteered his medical expertise in the Congo, Mozambique, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Early in his career, John worked as a rural family doctor in Jellico, Tenn.

As a teacher, John has taught and mentored countless medical students and doctors, inspiring them to provide medical care in underserved areas regionally and abroad. He began his teaching career at Michigan State University, where he rose to become the director of the Family Practice Residency and later the Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at St. Lawrence Hospital. He was also the director of a rural summer clinic for migrant workers in Michigan and served on the county board of health.

John then joined the faculty of the University at Buffalo. Over 21 years, he was the Chief of Family Medicine at Kaleida Health, the Medical Director of the New York State Area Health Education Center System, and the Medical Director of the Upper Westside and Niagara Family Health Centers. Even into retirement, John continued to make yearly trips to Haiti with students from the University at Buffalo.

In October 2011, John received the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry Alumni Humanitarian Award.

John remembers his time at Denison fondly. He has given back to his alma mater as a career advisor for 10 years and as a regular donor to the Annual Fund.

John and Carol, who is a renowned professor of nursing and leader in the field, have two children, Adam and Katherine, who have developed their own commitments to serving communities in need. The two split their time between Aiken, S.C. and Madison, Wis.