Dr. Melvin Blanchard has taken an important new leadership position at the Baltimore Medical Center and will be leaving his current position at Washington University School of Medicine on October 31, 2019. Although Dr. Blanchard’s’ departure is a great loss for our department, this is a tremendous opportunity for Dr. Blanchard and he will be joining his new wife in Baltimore, Maryland.
Since Dr. Blanchard joined our faculty, he has been an incredibly valuable and respected member of our faculty. Dr. Blanchard was a resident here, Chief Resident at the VA and, after additional subspecialty training, joined the VA as a staff physician and subsequently became the VA’s Associate Chief of Medicine. There, he played a key role in medical student and resident education and development of our faculty. He engaged in research that provided important contributions to the understanding the health of 1991 Gulf War veterans and their families.
In 2006, Dr. Blanchard was recruited to direct the Division of Medical Education and the internal medicine residency in the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Over the course of his tenure, the Division of Medical Education and the residency has grown tremendously with new educational pathways, tracks, programs and clinical services. The residency program is outstanding thanks in large part to Dr. Blanchard’s leadership.
Dr. Blanchard’s contribution in medical education has also been recognized regionally through the ACP and nationally through his leadership in the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM). He has been president of the Association of Program Directors in Medicine and now serves as vice chair of the board of AAIM. One of his signature impacts has been in the development of Best Practices for Training Physician Scientists and organizing the inaugural meeting of physician scientist training directors, which is still ongoing.
As Dr. Blanchard vacates leadership of the Division of Medical Education, Dr. Tom De Fer will serve as the interim Chief for the Division of Medical Education. In anticipation of Dr. Blanchard’s departure, I have been working with Drs. Eva Aagaard and Tom De Fer to ensure a smooth transition for the division’s leadership.
On behalf of everyone in the Department of Medicine, please join me in congratulating Dr. Blanchard on his new leadership role. We wish him all the best and will miss him. We will plan a farewell celebration in his honor to recognize his leadership and contributions. More information on the time and date of his farewell reception will be forthcoming.
Victoria J. Fraser, MD