Document Type



Oregon Health & Science University

Table of Contents

Biographical Information; Early Education; College Years at Wesleyan, 1939-1943; World War II and Navy Service; Harvard Medical School, 1943-1946; Internships; Residency at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital; Back to Mass General and Harvard; Coming to Oregon, 1958-1959; Curriculum Integration; The Growing School Reputation; American Board of Internal Medicine, 1975-1991; Interim Dean of the OHSU School of Medicine; The New Curriculum; Budget Cuts; Life After Deaning; Institute of Medicine Report on Medical Marijuana; Presidents Bluemle, Laster, and Kohler; Proudest Achievements; Index


John A. Benson, M.D., discusses his education and work with Dr. Chester Jones at the Massachusetts General Hospital, who encouraged his interest in gastroenterology and provided a role model for Benson of the clinician-educator. He recalls his years at the University of Oregon Medical School from 1959 on and the growth of departments and divisions within the school as well as his involvement in curriculum reform. Benson then turns to his years in the American Board of Internal Medicine, rising to become the first president. After he retired from ABIM, he served as Interim Dean of the school, strengthening the Office of the Dean and continuing his work on the curriculum even while dealing with the financial impact on the University of Measure 5. He also discusses his interests in physician-patient communications, leadership, and physician advocacy. Benson was born on July 23, 1921 in Manchester, Connecticut. He received education at the Wesleyan University and Harvard Medical School (M.D., 1946); interned at Case Western Reserve University; received further training at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Mayo Clinic. He joined the University of Oregon Medical School in 1959 and served as Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Gastroenterology. Benson served as the first president of the American Board of Internal Medicine, 1975-1991. He returned to OHSU as the Interim Dean of the School of Medicine, 1991-1993. Benson received numerous awards throughout his lifetime.


Transcript of oral history interview with John A. Benson, Jr., M.D., conducted on April 27, 1999 by Joan Ash.


OHSU Oral History Project




School of Medicine


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