Michael E. Whitcomb, MD

Flinn Visiting Scholar
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
550 E Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602/827-2001

Michael E. Whitcomb, MD, received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University (1961) and his MD degree from the University of Cincinnati (1965), and he completed an internal medicine residency and fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Walter Reed General Hospital (1970). He served as chief of the pulmonary disease services at Tripler Army Hospital and Walter Reed General Hospital prior to separating from the Army Medical Corps in 1974 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. From 1974 to 1977 he was a member of the pulmonary disease division at Boston University and served as section head at the university hospital. From 1977 to 1982 he served as chief of the pulmonary disease division at The Ohio State University. During that time he also served as associate chair of the department of medicine.

In 1981 Dr. Whitcomb was appointed associate dean for clinical affairs, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and medical director of the University Hospitals, positions he held until 1984. During the academic year 1984-1985 he was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow of the Institute of Medicine (Congressional Fellowship Program), following which he returned to Ohio State as assistant vice president for health services. He then served as dean of the schools of medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia (1986-1988) and the University of Washington (1988-1990). In 1992, he returned to Ohio State to establish the university’s Center for Health Policy Studies and was appointed as its first director in 1993.

In January 1994 Dr. Whitcomb joined the American Medical Association as the founding director of the division of graduate medical education. In March 1995 he moved to the Association of American Medical Colleges as senior vice president for medical education and director of the division of medical education. In July 2004 he was also appointed as the director of the AAMC Institute for Improving Medical Education. He held both positions until his retirement in June 2006. In November 2001 he was appointed editor-in-chief of Academic Medicine (the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges), a position he held until December 2007. In recent years he has been active in assisting universities involved in establishing new medical schools or new regional campuses.

Dr. Whitcomb has published over 100 papers covering a wide range of topics (clinical medicine, medical education, and health policy issues), and he authored a number of special reports for government agencies and professional organizations. He published more than 70 editorials during his tenure as the editor of Academic Medicine. In 2009 he authored a major report on new and developing medical schools for the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. In 2010 he authored a major report on graduate medical education for the foundation.

In addition to teaching and conducting scholarly work in clinical medicine, he has held faculty appointments in the health care management departments of two universities and has taught health policy in the graduate programs conducted by those departments. From 2006 to 2012, he served as a professorial lecturer in health policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. During 2012 and 2013 he was a Flinn Visiting Scholar at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

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