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Fitzhugh Mullan

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Dr.
Fitzhugh Mullan
Fitzhugh Mullan testifying .jpg
Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan
Born (1942-07-22) July 22, 1942 (age 76)

Fitzhugh Mullan testifying .jpg

Fitzhugh Mullan (b. July 22, 1942) is an American physician, writer, educator, and social activist.  He participated in the founding of the Student Health Organization.[1], the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship , Seed Global Health, and the Beyond Flexner Alliance. Dr. Mullan is a professor of Health Policy and Management and of Pediatrics at the George Washington University and the Co-Director the GW Health Workforce Institute.  He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Early career[edit | edit source]

Fitzhugh Mullan’s father and grandfather were physicians.  He grew up in New York City where he attended the Dalton School. He studied history at Harvard and medicine at the University of Chicago.  Mullan’s activism started during medical school in the 1960s when he spent time in Mississippi as a civil rights worker with the Medical Committee for Human Rights[2].  He was a leader of the Student Health Organization[3] during his time as a medical student, an organizer of the Lincoln Collective at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx while a pediatric resident, and the president of the Committee of Interns and Residents[4] in New York City in 1971-1972.  These events are captured in his memoir of the period, White Coat, Clenched Fist: The Political Education of an American Physician[5].

Mullan joined the United States Public Health Service in 1972 and spent 3 years practicing medicine in a community clinic in New Mexico as one of the first members of the National Health Service Corps, a program of which he subsequently became director. He later returned to New Mexico as served as Secretary of Health and Environment for Governor Toney Anaya, worked for Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, ran the Federal Bureau of Health Professions, and attained the rank of Assistant Surgeon General.  In 1989, he published Plagues and Politics: The Story of the United States Public Health Service[6], a volume still used to orient new officers to the Commissioned Corps of the USPHS.


Health policy[edit | edit source]

In 1996, Mullan retired from the US Public Health Service and went to work as a writer/editor at the health policy journal, Health Affairs, where he founded a monthly column entitled “Narrative Matters[7].He believed that people’s understanding of policy issues was often determined by experience and anecdote. No one disputed that data and evidence should be the standard for policy making, but Mullan contended that stories have always been powerful mediators of how we see the world – a reality that remains with us.  So a policy journal should provide space for personal narratives that carry policy messages.  Mullan wrote the first one himself entitled “Me and the System”[8] and edited a 2006 anthology, Narrative Matters:The Power of the Personal Essay in Health Policy [9].

Beyond Flexner Alliance founding meeting. Carter Hall, Milwood, VA. 2010

During his time at Health Affairs, Dr. Mullan began to practice pediatrics again at an inner city health center in Washington, DC and wrote about the experience in a series of pieces in Health Affairs and the Washington Post[10].

In 2002, he published Big Doctoring: Profiles in Primary Care[11], a book of oral histories gathered from primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in an effort to capture the beauty and plight of primary care providers who are the foundation of a health care system that often fails to appreciate the key contributions of primary care to quality, satisfaction, and cost containment in health care.


Academic career[edit | edit source]

In 2005, Mullan was appointed professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University. His research focuses on health workforce and health equity.  From 2008-2010, he led the Gates Foundation funded Sub-Saharan African Medical School Study[12] and from 2010-2015, he directed the Coordinating Center for the Medical Education Partnership Initiative[13], a $135 million US government investment in medical education in Sub-Saharan Africa.  His 2010 paper, “The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools”[14], caused controversy at some schools but helped establish social justice as an important topic in medical education. In 2012, he founded the Beyond Flexner Alliance, an interprofessional organization dedicated to promoting social mission in health professions education, and serves as the chair of the organization’s Board of Directors.  He worked with Vanessa Kerry to create SEED Global Health of which he served as the founding Board Chair, 2011-2012. In 2015, he co-founded the George Washington Health Workforce Institute and, with support from the Atlantic Philanthropies, Mullan was able to consolidate his work in health equity in the health professions by initiating the George Washington University based Leaders for Health Equity Fellowship program, now known as the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity.

Cancer survivorship[edit | edit source]

NCCS Founding Convening
Founding Meeting for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship in Albuquerque, NM. October 1986

In 1975, Mullan was diagnosed with a primary mediastinal seminoma, a cancer deep in his chest.  During the next 3 years, he underwent multiple surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, a difficult and uncertain course that he chronicled in the widely read book, Vital Signs: A Young Doctor’s Struggle with Cancer[15], published in 1983.  That book and a subsequent New England Journal of Medicine article, “Seasons of Survival: Reflections of a Physician with Cancer[16],” formed the basis for the development of the cancer survivorship movement.  Prior to that point, people with cancer were seen as “victims” and not as active participants in their care or in public policy.  In October of 1986, Mullan and survivor colleagues Cathy Logan and Edith Lennenberg, convened 25 people (survivors, cancer community organizers, and health professionals) in Albuquerque, NM to talk about creating a “cancer alumni association”.  When the weekend was over, they had formed the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship[17], a consumer group that for the last 30 years has provided a strong voice for cancer patients and their families, promoting and celebrating the idea of survivorship and pushing for sensible, patient-friendly public policy regarding cancer care. Mullan served as president and then chair of the NCCS Board of Directors from 1986-1993.



Personal life[edit | edit source]

Fitzhugh Mullan is married to Irene Dankwa-Mullan.  He has two daughters, Meghan Mullan and Caitlin Crain from an earlier marriage to Judith Wentworth, 4 grandchildren, and a step daughter, Perpetua Buadoo.

Awards and honors[edit | edit source]

  • United States Public Health Service Commendation Medal, July 1978, June 1991
  • United States Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal, July 1980
  • American Cancer Society’s National Courage Award, 1988
  • Society of Surgical Oncology’s James Ewing Award, 1989
  • Surgeon General’s Medallion, 1989
  • United States Public Health Service Meritorious Service Medal, May 1991
  • Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, College of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, June 1993
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, June 1993
  • National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, elected member, 1993
  • United States Public Health Service Distinguished Service Award, 1994
  • The Wilbur J. Cohen Award of the Assistant Secretary for Health, 1996
  • Distinguished Service Award, Medical and Biological Sciences Division, The University of Chicago, 2000
  • David Rall Medal of the Institute of Medicine, 2006
  • 2006 Humanism in Medicine Award – George Washington University Medical School -- Association of American Medical Schools
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, New York Institute of Technology, May 18, 2008
  • US National Health Care Workforce Commission, Appointed Member, 2010
  • Doctor of Medical Arts, The Commonwealth Medical College, Scranton, PA.  May 10, 2014
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.  May 7, 2016
  • Geisinger Rock Star Award, The Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Danville, PA, November 27, 2017

Selected biography[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

  • Mullan, Fitzhugh, White Coat, Clenched Fist: The Political Education of an American Physician.  Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1976[18]
  • Mullan, Fitzhugh, Vital Signs: A Young Doctor’s Struggle with Cancer.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1983
  • Connor, Eileen, Mullan, Fitzhugh (editors), Community Oriented Primary Care: New Directions for Health Services Delivery, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1983
  • Mullan, Fitzhugh, Plagues and Politics: The Story of the United States Public Health Service, Basic Books, New York, 1989[19]
  • Mullan, Fitzhugh and Hoffman, Barbara (editors), Charting the Journey: An Almanac of Resources for Cancer Survivorship.  Consumer Reports Books, New York, 1990
  • Mullan, Fitzhugh, Big Doctoring in America:  Profiles in Primary Care, University of California Press/Milbank Memorial Fund, Berkeley, CA, 2002[20]
  • Mullan, Fitzhugh, Panosian, Claire, Cuff, Patricia (editors) Healers Abroad: Americans Responding to the Human Resource Crisis in HIV/AIDS  National Academy Press, 2005
  • Mullan, Fitzhugh, Ficklen, Ellen, Rubin, Kyna (editors) Narrative Matters: The Power of the Personal Essay in Health Policy.  Johns Hopkins Press, 2006.
  • Mullan, Fitzhugh, White Coat, Clenched Fist: The Political Education of an American Physician.  (Reissued with a New Introduction) University of Michigan Press, 2006
  • Mullan, Fitzhugh. Vital Signs: A Young Doctor’s Struggle with Cancer. (Japanese translation with a new introduction). Chitose Press Inc. Toyko.[21]

Articles[edit | edit source]

  • McGarvey, M., Mullan, F. and Sharfstein, S.  “A Study of Medical Action: The Student Health Organizations,” New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 279, No. 2, July 11, 1968, pp. 74-80[22]
  • Mullan, F., “The Sickness of Frederick Chopin: A Study of Disease and Society,” Rocky Mountain Medical Journal, Vol. 70, No. 9, August 1973, pp. 29-34.[23]
  • Mullan, F., “Community Oriented Primary Care: An Agenda for the ‘80s,” New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 21, 1982, Vol. 207, pp. 1076-1078[24]
  • Mullan, F., “Seasons of Survival: Reflections of a Physician with Cancer,” New England Journal of Medicine, July 25, 1985, Vol. 313, pp. 270-273[25]
  • Mullan, F., Rivo, M.L., Politzer, R.M., “Doctors, Dollars, and Determination:  Making Physician Work-Force Policy,” Health Affairs Supplement, March 1993, pp. 138-151[26]
  • Sekscenski, E., Sansom, S., Bazell, C., Salmon, M., and Mullan, F.  “State Practice Environments and the Supply of Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Certified Nurse-Midwives.”  New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 331, No. 19, 1994:1266-71[27]
  • Mullan, F., “The Journey Back: A Physician Retrains.” JAMA, July 23/30, 1997, Vol. 238, No. 4, pp. 281-283[28]
  • Mullan, F., “Me and the System:  The Personal Essay and Health Policy.”  Health Affairs, July/August 1999, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 118-124[29]
  • Mullan, F., “A Founder of Quality Assessment Encounters a Troubled System Firsthand: A conversation with Avedis Donabedian.” Health Affairs, January/February, 2001, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 137-141.[30]
  • Mullan, F., and Epstein, L., “Community Oriented Primary Care: New Relevance in a Changing World,” American Journal of Public Health, November 2002, Vol. 92, No. 11, pp. 1748-1755.[31]
  • Mullan, F., “My Dad Was Not A Prepaid Group Practice Patient,” Health Affairs Web Exclusive, February 4, 2004,[32]
  • Mullan, F., “The Metrics of the Physician Brain Drain” The New England Journal of Medicine, October 27, 2005, Vol. 353:1810-8343.[33]
  • Mullan, F. “Doctors for the World: Indian Physician Emigration.”  Health Affairs, March/April 2006; 25(2): 380-393[34]
  • Mullan, F., and Frehywot, S., “Non-physician clinicians in 47 sub-Saharan African countries.”  Lancet. June 14, 2007, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60785-5.
  • Mullan, F., Chen, C., Petterson, S., Kolsky, G., and Spagnola, M.  “The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools.”  Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011;152:804-811.[35]
  • Mullan, F., Frehywot, S., Omaswa, F., et al.  “Medical schools in sub-Saharan Africa.” The Lancet. 2011;377:1113–21.[36]
  • Mullan, F., Chen, C., Petterson, S., Kolsky, G., Spagnola, M.  “The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools.” Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011;152:804-811.[37]
  • Mullan, F., Chen, C., Steinmetz, E. “The Geography of Graduate Medical Education: Imbalances Signal Need For New Distribution Policies.” Health Affairs. 11(2013): 1914–1921.[38]
  • Mullan, F. and Kerry, V. “The Global Health Service Corps: Teaching for the World.”  Academic Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 8, August, 2014[39]
  • Chen, C., Petterson, S., Phillips, R., Bazemore, A., and Mullan, F. “Spending Patterns in Region of Residency Training and Subsequent Expenditures for Care Provided by Practicing Physicians for Medicare Beneficiaries.” JAMA. 2014;312(22):2385-2393.[40]
  • Regenstein, M., Nocella, K., Jewers, M., and Mullan, F., “The Cost of Residency Training in Teaching Health Centers.” New England Journal of Medicine. 375(7):612-614. August 2016.[41]
  • Mullan, F., “Social Mission in Health Professions Education: Beyond Flexner.”  JAMA. 2017;318(2):122-123[42]

Talks and presentations[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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  2. "The Good Doctors: The Medical Committee for Human Rights and the Struggle for Social Justice in Health Care". www.upress.state.ms.us. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
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  4. "Committee of Interns & Residents", Wikipedia, 2018-09-09, retrieved 2018-12-27
  5. Mullan, Fitzhugh (2006). White Coat, Clenched Fist. www.goodreads.com. ISBN 9780472031979. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  6. "Plagues and Politics". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
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  9. "Narrative Matters". jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  10. Mullan, Fitzhugh (June 10, 1997). "The journey from policy to patients". Washington Post. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  11. "Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care". Milbank Memorial Fund. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
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  17. "National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship".
  18. White Coat, Clenched Fist: The Political Education of an American Physician https://www.press.umich.edu/200182/white_coat_clenched_fist. External link in |title= (help)
  19. "Plagues and Politics". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  20. "Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care". Milbank Memorial Fund. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
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  23. Mullan, Fitzhugh (1973). "The sickness of Frederic Chopin. A study of disease and society". undefined. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
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  36. Mullan, Fitzhugh (Winter 2018). "Medical schools in sub-Saharan Africa". The Lancet. VOLUME 377, ISSUE 9771: P1113–1121.
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External links[edit | edit source]

Cancer Survivors: A Look Backward and Forward[1]




This article "Fitzhugh Mullan" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or its subpage Fitzhugh Mullan/edithistory. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

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