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Explore This IssueNovember 2007
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1947–Completes a fellowship in biochemistry at Yale.
1949–Earns his MD from Yale University School of Medicine.
1950–Completes a fellowship in biochemistry at Carlsberg Laboratories in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1953–Completes an internship at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y.
1955–Completes a two-year residency at Montefiore.
1955–Accepts a position as research associate and assistant physician at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City.
1958–Becomes assistant professor at the Rockefeller Institute.
1960–Becomes Guggenhime professor of medicine and chair of medicine at Stanford.
1969–Becomes program director of the Carnegie-Commonwealth and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Training Program.
1977–Becomes program director of the Stanford Multi-Purpose Arthritis Center.
Nurturing the Next Leaders
The 1970s were a fertile time in medical education. The decade’s receptiveness to new ideas and drive to test established ones were hallmarks of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, set up to train clinician scientists to become health service researchers in disciplines such as epidemiology, sociology, economics, and community medicine. The genesis for the Clinical Scholars Program occurred when Dr. Holman and four colleagues expressed dissatisfaction with current medical education at a conference they had all attended.
“We began to realize that new ideas, outside of conventional biomedicine and clinical medicine, had to be added to the curriculum,” says Dr. Holman. “These were disciplines that interacted with patients’ sociological, legal, psychological, and economic consequences of chronic disease.”
Initial talks with the Carnegie Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation led to the Clinical Scholars Program, designed to train graduate physicians in relevant disciplines that were not in biomedicine or clinical care, but could inform their future approach to medicine. Dr. Holman helped run the joint Stanford–University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Clinical Scholars Program.
Matthew H. Liang, MD, MPH, director of special projects at Robert B. Brigham Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases Clinical Research Center, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, was one of the beneficiaries of the Clinical Scholars Program at Stanford.
“At the time, the Clinical Scholars Program was brilliant—and it still has cachet,” says Dr. Liang. He recalls his time as a Clinical Scholar as a period when “great people had a laissez-faire approach, but helped people feel free to make errors and to really pursue their dreams. A lot of my ideas [about outcomes measures] started about that time … Dr. Holman was a tremendous influence on all of us. He could really ask and appreciate hard questions, and I think we [former Clinical Scholars] have tried to do that in our subsequent lives—to pass on the example he gave to us.”