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OHSU’s Leader for Continuing and Graduate Medical Education Named to Newly Endowed Professorship

Donald Girard, M.D., will continue legacy of education advocate J.S. Reinschmidt, M.D.

Oregon Health & Science University will link the legacy of one of its most tireless educators with one of its current advocates. This fall, Donald Girard, M.D., associate dean for Continuing and Graduate Medical Education, will become the first occupant of the newly created J.S. “Dutch” Reinschmidt Professorship for Medical Education.

The professorship is named in honor of the life and works of J.S. “Dutch” Reinschmidt, M.D., a longtime member of the OHSU faculty who dedicated his service to the art of educating physicians throughout their careers and to improving health care access in rural Oregon. As a member of the OHSU community, he continued to work on behalf of these interests for 30 years, until his death in 1998.

Responding to his appointment, Girard said, “I am deeply honored. On a personal level, Dutch was my hero, mentor, advisor and dear colleague. He was greatly admired by all who knew him for the vision, integrity and dedication he brought to his work. I hope to carry on his traditions.”

In 1970, Reinschmidt was appointed the medical school’s director of  the Oregon Regional Medical Program (ORMP). In 1976, he was also appointed as the head of the school’s new division of Continuing Medical Education (CME). While serving in these positions, he developed a national reputation for his contributions to the education of fellow physicians and was elected president of the Society of Medical College Directors of Medical Education. Reinschmidt was instrumental in the establishment of Oregon’s Area Health Education Centers, co-authoring the proposal that secured federal funding for the centers. These centers continue to provide educational resources to health care professionals practicing in communities across Oregon.

In many ways, Girard is the ideal Reinschmidt Professor, embodying Reinschmidt’s legacy of commitment to lifelong learning and regional education. He is one of Oregon’s leaders in physician wellness, workforce and education. Building upon Reinschmidt’s contributions, he has expanded both the programming and participation in continuing medical education. As head of the medical schools’ robust residency programs, he is also an active participant in the national effort to develop innovative ways of regionalizing Graduate Medical Education.

Girard has also demonstrated his dedication to the evolving needs of physicians by establishing and maintaining OHSU Physician Re-Entry Program, which is facilitated by the medical school’s Dean’s Office. Designed to serve the needs of physicians who have left the workforce – in most cases, in order to raise families or attend to personal issues – the program combines training techniques from the fields of Graduate Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education in order to provide tailored re-training programs. The physicians who enter this program find it very effectively prepares them to re-obtain their medical license and resume clinical practice.

Like Reinschmidt, Girard has held leadership roles at local, regional and national levels. In addition to maintaining a busy internal medicine clinical practice and serving as associate dean, his service has included president of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine, Oregon Governor for the American College of Physicians (ACP), president of the Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland, and member of the executive committee of the Oregon Medical Association. He also chaired the planning committee for the ACP’s national annual session and served on a number of task forces for the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 2008 he was appointed to the Oregon Medical Board.

The professorship was established through the collective efforts of Reinschmidt’s widow, Maxine Reinschmidt, the Oregon Medical Association, the Sommer Memorial Trust and John A. Benson, M.D., dean emeritus. Additional support and leadership was provided by Joseph D. Bloom, M.D., Dean Emeritus, John Kendall, M.D., dean emeritus, and Edward J. Keenan, Ph.D., associate dean for medical education.

“My greatest pleasure in making this announcement is the privilege this Professorship affords us to connect the past with the present and to focus our attention on the importance of lifelong learning,” said Mark Richardson, M.D., M.B.A., M.Sc.B., dean, OHSU School of Medicine. “With this appointment we help ensure that Dutch’s extraordinary legacy endures. At the same time, we recognize Don Girard for his contributions now and in the future as he honors and builds on that legacy.” 

About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and only academic health center. As Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government), OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves more than 184,000 patients, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,900 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.

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