Award Pays Tribute to Physician’s Lifelong Achievements as Clinician, Educator and Patient Advocate
Dr. James R. Patterson, a physician with the Pulmonary Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Division at The Oregon Clinic, has received the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons’ Gold Medal in recognition of excellence in clinical medicine. Along with another physician chosen for scientific accomplishments, Dr. Patterson was chosen in a closed session of the selection committee from nominations made by alumni, classmates and others.
He received the award during the Alumni Reunion Weekend at a gala dinner in Manhattan on May 14. In the printed program for the dinner, he was described as being “one of the leading lights in pulmonary and critical care at The Oregon Clinic, which he helped found.”
“I cannot imagine a more deserving candidate,” said Louis S. Libby, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at The Oregon Clinic. “Having worked alongside Jim for more than 25 years, I have observed and also greatly benefited from his mentoring, clinical educational skills, high ethical standards and charisma.”
Dr. Patterson is also the proud recipient of a number of teaching and other awards and frequently has been on best doctor lists both locally and nationally. He spent ten years on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), first on question writing committees, then as Chair of the Pulmonary Board, and finally as Secretary-treasurer. The ABIM is the board certifying organization for all the medical specialties, and is in the forefront of the quality movement in medicine. Dr. Patterson was one of very few full-time practitioners on the Board.
As a strong advocate for patients without resources and a tireless member of Project Access, he has helped build a local network of volunteer physicians and other healthcare providers who donate medical services to low-income uninsured individuals in the community. He also continues to lecture about health care costs.
“Jim’s true value as a clinician and educator is demonstrated in many of the other activities he has undertaken during his career,” said Dr. Libby. “He has been an advocate for underserved patients both here and overseas and recently has become involved in medical education and service in third world countries, including lengthy trips to Kenya and Haiti.”
“I can think of no one else during the last 30-plus years who has accumulated the breadth of experience and success in educational activities in clinical pulmonary and critical care medicine,” said Dr. Libby. “It’s no wonder that 50 percent of graduating residents mention him when asked to name one or two people who influenced them the most during training.”