The professorship was established in 1963 with a bequest to Stanford from Dr. Patek. The daughter of a San Francisco department store executive, Sadie Dernham graduated from Stanford in 1911 with an A.B. in languages. After the death of her husband, Dr. Robert Patek, she enrolled in Stanford's School of Medicine, obtaining her M.D. in 1929. Dr. Patek practiced medicine in San Francisco for nearly 30 years, and also served on the clinical faculty of Stanford's medical school in San Francisco. She left numerous gifts, including to Presbyterian Medical Center, the California Academy of Sciences, and to Stanford to establish this chair, as well as the Arthur L. Bloomfield Professorship of Medicine.