April 23, 2013
John Saultz, M.D., chair of the Department of Family Medicine, was named Family Physician of the Year by the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians on April 13 during the annual OAFP Annual Spring CME Weekend in Gleneden Beach, Ore.
The annual award recognizes physicians who provide compassionate, comprehensive family medicine on a continuing basis; are involved in community affairs and who serve as both a personal and professional role model to their community, fellow health professionals, residents and medical students. Dr. Saultz's name will be submitted to the American Academy of Family Physicians in nomination for the American Family Doctor of the Year.
Lisa Dodson, M.D., director, Oregon Area Health Education Centers and associate professor of medicine, presented the award. Dr. Dodson was one of Dr. Saultz' many students present at the meeting.
"In a long and distinguished career (John Saultz) has been the very definition of excellence," said Dr. Dodson. "One colleague called his span of competency 'incredibly wide' and letter writers extolled (Saultz) as 'our visionary leader and moral compass,' a strong patient advocate, a superb clinician and an exceptional partner."
Dr. Dodson said Dr. Saultz has never lost sight of his reasons for becoming a family physician, and has remained dedicated to keeping the Department of Family Medicine focused on patients.
"There are many among us here today who make our patients better," said Dr. Dodson. "(Saultz) makes us all better. A former student notes, 'he is one of the few wise men in our specialty who is always worth listening to when he speaks.' And luckily for us, he speaks and writes and teaches and administers and gives everything he's got, every day, for his patients, his colleagues, his students, our Academy, our department and the state."
Dr. Saultz said he was honored by the award, particularly since it is not usually presented to an academic physician.
"In the academic world, our gold standard for accomplishment is the opinion of our peers," said Dr. Saultz. "Our papers and grant submissions are peer-reviewed, and we advance from assistant professor to associate professor to full professor based on this standard. But the peers who matter the most to me have always been those who live out the core values of our discipline every day in full-time practice. To be recognized by this most important peer group is the highest honor I have received, or hope to receive, in my career."
Dr. Saultz has chaired the Department of Family Medicine since 1998. From 1986 to 1994, he was the department's residency director. Dr. Saultz has served as director of Oregon's statewide AHEC Program and assistant vice president of OHSU for Regional Education and Outreach.
Dr. Saultz was the 1993-94 president of the Association of Family Practice Residency Directors and was the 1996-97 OAFP president. He served on the Residency Review Committee for Family Practice from 1999-2005 and on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education from 1992-98. In 2003-04, Dr. Saultz was named a Bishop/American Council on Education fellow.
He will become president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the discipline's largest academic organization, at its annual meeting in May, and will serve as editor of Family Medicine, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.
Dr. Saultz is the author of three books and more than 175 journal articles and book chapters. His current research interests include continuity of care in the doctor-patient relationship, medical decision-making, primary care medical education and the future of family medicine.
Pictured: John Saultz, M.D., and wife Sherrie