UW News

September 12, 2000

Dr. Douglas S. Paauw named to Rathmann Family Foundation Chair

Dr. Douglas S. Paauw, associate professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, has been appointed as the first holder of the Rathmann Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Patient-Centered Clinical Education. The foundation has contributed $1.5 million to fund the chair, in order to encourage training in patient-oriented medicine.

It is the first chair within the UW School of Medicine, and one of the first in the nation, to recognize the important role of outstanding clinician/teachers who promote innovation in medical education. The Rathmanns established their family foundation in Washington in 1991. Its primary area of philanthropy is in education, with priority given to science and math as well as the arts, in cities where family members live. Those include Philadelphia, Annapolis, Minneapolis, San Francisco and the adjacent Peninsula. In Seattle, the foundation funds science education, scientific research and environmental education.

The medical school in 1989 adopted a clinician/teacher pathway within its tenure track to acknowledge the importance of teaching and patient care alongside the demands of a world-class research program. The school established rigorous criteria for evaluation and promotion of clinician/teachers, who are expected to spend 80 percent of their time on teaching and patient care, and 20 percent on scholarship.

“The creation of a clinician/teacher pathway, and now the endowment of the Rathmann chair, affirm the importance we place on having faculty whose primary commitment is to training the next generation of physicians,” said Dr. Paul Ramsey, UW vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “We are very grateful to the Rathmann Family Foundation for its extraordinary generosity.”

Paauw has been teaching at the UW since 1989. He is an attending physician at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. He has been recognized repeatedly for his clinical and teaching talent, including distinguished teaching awards from both the university and the School of Medicine. He also has received the Clinician-Teacher Award of Excellence from the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Paul M. Beeson Teaching Award, and has been named one of the “Best Doctors in America” three times.

Paauw has written numerous journal articles, textbook chapters and examination materials on HIV, pulmonary diseases and other topics. He is also the editor of the book Guide to Internal Medicine and CME editor for Scientific American Medicine. In addition, he has numerous responsibilities with the American College of Physicians and the Society of General Internal Medicine.

The Rathmann Family Foundation board endowed the chair in response to incidents involving family members and friends in medical settings around the country. Laura Jean Rathmann, vice president of the foundation, said, “In most cases, problems did not stem from a lack of technology or expertise, as much as from a lack of focus on the patient and a lack of meaningful communication with the patient’s family.”

Technology plays an important role in this endowment to enhance human contact in hospitals and clinics. Dr. George Rathmann is president and chief executive officer of Hyseq, Inc., as well as chairman emeritus of Amgen, Inc. He was a co-founder of Amgen, and was also chairman of the board of Icos Corporation.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the UW School of Medicine for the past seven years as the leading medical school in primary-care training. As part of the school’s mission to provide primary-care physicians for a five-state region, more than half the University’s graduating physicians have committed to primary care.