In the original planning of the School of Medicine during the mid-1960’s, departments were designed to implement educational concepts which focused on the role of the generalist in the delivery of care and teaching. Accordingly, there were three academic departments instead of the traditional two (Medicine and Pediatrics). They were 1) Clinical Medicine and Health Care, which included social and behavioral scientists as well as general internists; 2) General Pediatrics, comprised largely of primary care pediatricians; and 3) Medical and Pediatric Specialties, embracing the subspecialties in both internal medicine and pediatrics.

Dr. James Walker was appointed chair of the Department of Clinical Medicine in 1967. He recruited three young general internists to begin in July, 1967 when the university assumed responsibility for the McCook Hospital. Other internists and several behavioral scientists were recruited in 1968.

Chairs of Medicine

  • Seymour Reichlin, M.D., 1969-1971
  • Leon Hoyer, M.D., Acting Chair, 1971-1972
  • Irwin Lepow, M.D., 1973-1978
  • Robert Scheig, M.D., Acting Chair, 1978-1980
  • Carl Hinz, M.D., Acting Chair, 1978-1980
  • James W. Freston, M.D., Ph.D., 1980-1997
  • Richard A. Garibaldi, M.D., Interim Chair, 1997-1998
  • Richard A. Garibaldi, M.D., 1998-2007
  • Joseph Palmisano, M.D., Interim Chair, 2007-2011
  • Paul R. Skolnik, M.D., 2011-2015
  • Cheryl Oncken, M.D., M.P.H., Interim Chair, 2015-2016
  • Cheryl Oncken, M.D., M.P.H., 2016-2020
  • Lynn Kosowicz, M.D., FACP, Interim Chair, 2020-2022
  • Steven Angus, M.D., FACP, Interim Chair, 2022-2023
  • Francesco Celi, M.D., MHSc., Chair, 2023-Present