On March 2, 2016, Southwestern Medical Foundation hosted a reception honoring Dr. Donald W. Seldin for his years of exceptional contributions to medicine, and his almost 30 years of service to the Foundation. The occasion was also an opportunity to officially dedicate the Foundation’s Seldin conference room, which, remarkably, sits on the site of the original medical school front door where Dr. Seldin arrived from Yale 65 years ago.
During the celebration, Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, UT Southwestern President, and Nobel Laureates Drs. Mike Brown and Joe Goldstein shared memories of the leadership and inspiration Dr. Seldin has brought in elevating the extraordinary reputation of UT Southwestern in science and teaching.
Foundation President, Kathleen Gibson also presented Dr. Seldin with the Foundation’s prestigious Ho Din Award. Instituted by the Foundation in 1943 as its first order of business, the award represents “the spirit of medical wisdom and human understanding” and is given to those each year since who exemplify the unique personal qualities embodied in all great physicians – knowledge, understanding, and, most of all, compassion.
Following the award presentation, Dr. Seldin recalled his decision to come to Dallas, and reflected on the quality and curiosity of the students he found.
Often described as the “intellectual father of UT Southwestern,’’ Seldin is widely recognized as one of the greatest chairs of internal medicine in American medical history. His former students and protégées – several of whom were there to help him celebrate — have described him as a visionary, a tenacious leader and a demanding yet patient teacher.
Dr. Seldin was recruited to UT Southwestern in 1951 from Yale University, where he attended medical school and was subsequently appointed to the faculty. He accepted the position at the fledgling medical school in Dallas without having visited the campus and was a bit surprised to find the school operating in plywood army barracks. The following year, at age 31, he became Chairman of Internal Medicine, and, despite a number of attractive job offers elsewhere over the years, he remained in that position for 36 years. During that time, he established a national reputation both for himself and for UT Southwestern through his astute faculty recruitments, his personal involvement in education and training, and his own prowess as a scientist and physician.
It was in 1988 that Dr. Seldin began his direct association with Southwestern Medical Foundation and began many shared initiatives in community symposia and broadened community outreach. Dr. Seldin continues to nobly serve the Foundation as Vice President – Emeritus and the medical school as the William Buchanan Chair in Internal Medicine and UT System Professor in Internal Medicine.
Photos from the event can be found here.