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The annual Whitehead Lecture serves as an unofficial convocation for the School of Medicine. It is named in honor of Dr. Richard Whitehead, who served as dean of the School of Medicine from 1890 to 1905. The Whitehead Lecture has been an annual event since 1947.

Purpose and Selection Process

The Whitehead Medical Society, the student government of the School of Medicine, is named in honor of Richard H. Whitehead, M.D. who served as Dean from 1890 to 1905. The Whitehead Lecture was established in 1947 to recognize the high standards and leadership of Dr. Whitehead. It has been an annual event since 1980. The lecturer is chosen by the Whitehead Council, Whitehead Medical Society’s governing body of elected officers. The selection is based on qualities of leadership, dedication, and devotion to medicine and teaching. A certificate is given in recognition of distinguished contribution to the science and art of medicine designating the recipient an Honorary Member of the Whitehead Society. Being elected to deliver the Whitehead Lecture is among the highest honors for faculty members at the School of Medicine.

2019 Selected Whitehead Lecturer

Dr. Neva Howard
August 7, 2019
2204, Medical Biomolecular Research Building (MBRB)

Past Lecturers

2018: Dr. Cedric Bright, Life Lessons from the Heart
2017: Dr. Brian Jensen, Patience is a Prickly Virtue: Playing the Long Game in the Instagram Age
Dr. Frank Church, Core Values and Life Stories to Help Your Journey through Medical School and Beyond
2015: Dr. Alice Ma, Endurance, Obstacles, Perseverance and Joy: My Transformation from the World’s Crummiest Medical Student to Faculty at the World’s Best Medical School
2014: Dr. Cheryl McNeil, Carrots and Sticks: Lessons from my Teachers
2013: Dr. Elizabeth B. Dreesen, Learning, Language, and Luck
2012: Dr. Sarah Street, Experience, Empathy and Education: Why John Dewey is my BFF
2011: Dr. Alan Cross, Training Physicians for the 21st Century
2010: Dr. Kurt Gilliland, Millennial Medicine: From Manteo to Murphy
2009: Dr. Arrel Toews, To Make the Best Better-Farm Stories, Deep Thinkers, and Good Doctors