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AAMC Recognizes Past Presidents of ABIM and Their Contributions to Medical Education and Professionalism

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Philadelphia, PA, November 10, 2010 – John A. Benson Jr., MD and Harry R. Kimball, MD, former presidents of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), were recognized last week by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) at their annual meeting in Washington, DC. The two physician leaders were named as recipients of the 2010 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education.

Recognizing Dr. Benson, the first president of ABIM who served from 1975 – 1991, the AAMC highlighted “his extraordinary contributions to the board certification process, medical education and academic medicine” and that he has “proven his dedication to the vision of Abraham Flexner.”

Dr. Kimball, ABIM president from 1991 – 2003, was recognized in part for his role, through the ABIM Foundation, in conceiving and initiating efforts to create Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter. AAMC noted that “just as Abraham Flexner is known for strengthening the integrity of medical schools, Harry R. Kimball, MD is known for strengthening the integrity of medical professionals.”

According to the AAMC website, “The Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education is awarded annually to an individual for extraordinary contributions to the medical education community. The award was first presented by the Association in 1958 and is the AAMC's most prestigious honor. The Flexner Award recognizes the highest standards in medical education and honors individuals whose impact on medical education is national in scope.”

“Dr. Benson and Dr. Kimball, in their roles as former leaders of the American Board of Internal Medicine, have helped define what it is to be a good doctor in the modern era,” said Christine K. Cassel, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation. “Through their leadership, vision and commitment to professionalism they have contributed to enormous and groundbreaking change in American medicine. I cannot think of two people more deserving of this award from the Association of American Medical Colleges.”

Dr. Kimball currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Dean at the University of Washington School Of Medicine. Dr. Benson is Dean Emeritus at Oregon Health & Science University and Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Medicine.

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