Don E. Detmer Oral History Interview, 2022

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Summary

Creator:
Detmer, Don E. and Duke University. Medical Center. Department of Surgery.
Abstract:
Dr. Don E. Detmer, MD, MA, is professor emeritus and professor of medical education at the University of Virginia. During his career in medicine, administration, and medical informatics he worked at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Utah, the University of Virginia, and the American College of Surgeons. This collection contains 1 oral history interview conducted on February 2, 2022 by Dr. Konstantinos Economopoulos as part of the Dr. David Sabiston Oral History Project. In the interview, Detmer discusses his early life, education, his medical training, individuals who shaped him along the way during his career, how he came to Duke for the third year of his surgical residency, memories of Sabiston, Sabiston's rigid belief system, his interest in health policy, how he went into administration and medical informatics, different positions he held over the years, and his work with the Duke Physician Assistant Program.
Extent:
1 Interview (1 transcript) and 211 MB
Collection ID:
OH.DETMERD

Background

Scope and content:

Includes 1 oral history interview with Dr. Don E. Detmer conducted on February 2, 2022 by Dr. Konstantinos Economopoulos as part of the Dr. David Sabiston Oral History Project.

In the February 2, 2022 interview, Detmer discusses his early life, education, his medical training, individuals who shaped him along the way during his career, how he came to Duke for the third year of his surgical residency, memories of Sabiston, Sabiston's rigid belief system, his interest in health policy, how he went into administration and medical informatics, different positions he held over the years, and his work with the Duke Physician Assistant Program.

Biographical / historical:

Dr. Don Eugene Detmer, MD, MA, was born in a small Kansas town. While he was in high school he attended a science and math camp where he met scientists from the Physiology Department at the University of Kansas, which helped set him on his future career path. This introduction led summer jobs in the laboratory where he was able to do some of his own research. In 1965, Detmer received his MD from University of Kansas Medical School, where he was accepted before completing his undergraduate degree. He completed his postgraduate education in surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital; the Heart Surgery Branch at the National Institutes of Health; Duke University Medical Center, where he was Chief Resident; the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academies. He received his MA in Public Health from the University of Cambridge. While training at Duke, he was asked to develop and coordinate a Surgical Associate track as an extension of the Duke Physician Assistant (PA) Program serving as one of the PA Program's two Medical Directors.

Detmer is an important figure in the US National Health Information Infrastructure, as well as working internationally as a consultant to the government of England and the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong. Prior to the time Detmer spent in England, he was Vice President for Health Sciences at the Universities of Virginia and Utah. While at Virginia, he led the implementation of a physician order entry system and was the principal investigator for its IAIMS grant. While at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he developed the nation's first administrative medicine program, a master's degree program for clinician-executives. As a surgeon, he was instrumental in the adoption and development of ambulatory surgery in the early 1970s and was team physician for the Wisconsin Badgers for 10 years while also serving as president of the medical staff. He won a UW-Madison Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award.

Detmer was appointed as president and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) from 2004 to 2009. Afterwards, becoming a senior advisor to AMIA until 2011. He served as Medical Director for advocacy and health policy of the American College of Surgeons from 2011 to 2013, and, in 2014, he became Director of Advanced Inter-Professional Informatics certification of AMIA. He also served on the boards of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, the University of Virginia Colonnade Club, and the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center.
Detmer's research interests include national health information policy, quality improvement, administrative medicine, vascular surgery, sports medicine, and management of academic health centers. He has written and edited a number of research articles, books, book chapters, and monographs on these topics.

Detmer was married to his wife, Mary Helen, for 57 years. He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, horse riding, fly-fishing, reading biographies, various crafts, and growing truffles.

Acquisition information:
Accession A2022.029 (transferred by Mary-Russell Roberson, May 2022)
Processing information:

Processed by Lucy Waldrop: May 2022

Arrangement:
Organized into the following series: Interview, February 2, 2022.
Rules or conventions:
DACS

Contents

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Restrictions:

None.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Don E. Detmer Oral History Interview, Duke University Medical Center Archives.