Dr. Benson is 2010 Abraham Flexner Award recipient

11/24/10  Portland, Ore.

Dr. BensonJohn A. Benson Jr., MD, Professor and Dean Emeritus, School of Medicine, was recently recognized with the 2010 Abraham Flexner Award by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) at their annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Before an audience of over 4,000, Dr. Benson, president of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) from 1975-1991, was named a co-recipient of the 2010 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education, for his “extraordinary contributions to the board certification process, medical education, and academic medicine.” Harry R. Kimball, MD, ABIM president from 1991-2003, shared this honor.

“Sharing the AAMC's 2010 Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education with my successor at the ABIM was extraordinary recognition, particularly as I reflect on the previous awardees,” said Dr. Benson. “My long, happy career at OHSU grounded me in teaching, for which it deserves credit too and for which I remain very grateful.”

The Flexner Award recognizes the highest standards in medical education and honors individuals whose impact on medical education is national in scope. It is the AAMC’s most prestigious honor.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to John and all he has contributed to medicine,” said Dean Mark Richardson, MD, MBA. “His groundbreaking work in gastroenterology and leadership at OHSU and the ABIM has transformed medicine here and across the globe.”

An educator and clinician, Dr. Benson became a faculty member at the School of Medicine in 1959. During his 18 years at OHSU, Dr. Benson was instrumental to the development of the Division of Gastroenterology, served on the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care, and was interim Dean of the School of Medicine from 1992-1994. The annual Benson/Kendall Visiting Professorship lecture is named in his honor, along with John Kendall, Jr., MD, for outstanding years served at the OHSU School of Medicine.

“This has special meaning to me as someone who followed John as president of ABIM and the dean of the OHSU School of Medicine,” said Christine Cassel, MD, former OHSU School of Medicine dean, and current President and CEO of ABIM and the ABIM Foundation. “John is a real leader among leaders. I always look to him for guidance and inspiration.”

Numerous honors have been awarded to Dr. Benson over the years, including the John Phillips Memorial Award for Outstanding Work in Clinical Medicine, the Howard P. Lewis Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Allan J. Hill Clinical Teaching Award.  He is a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Benson has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, editorials, and book reviews. His many leadership positions include serving as the first president of the American Board of Internal Medicine for 16 years, as well as president of the American Gastroenterological Association. He is currently a professor of Gastroenterology-Hepatology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine.

Dr. Benson received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and completed his residency and fellowship at the Peter Bent Brigham and Massachusetts General Hospitals in Boston, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. 


More on Dr. Benson and Abraham Flexner Award

Read AAMC article on John Benson Jr. MD