John A. Benson Jr. ’43, MD, dean emeritus at Oregon Health and Science University and professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine, received the 2010 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education. Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the award, their highest, honors Benson’s “extraordinary contributions to the board certification process, medical education, and academic medicine.”
Benson, who is known as the modern “father” of the American Board of Internal Medicine, was appointed and served as its first president for 16 years. A gastroenterologist by training, he began what would become a 30-year association with the board in 1961.
As an elected member of the board of governors, he helped to approve examinations in new subspecialties, such as nephrology, endocrinology, and hematology, among others. A biology and chemistry major at Wesleyan, he earned his medical degree from Harvard University.