Dr. Don Girard named OMA Doctor-Citizen of the Year

“Heart and soul of physician wellness” honored at annual physicians’ conference

October 31, 2017

At its Annual Conference on Oct. 28, the Oregon Medical Association named Donald Girard, M.D. R '73, professor emeritus at OHSU, its Doctor-Citizen of the Year. 

Each year since 1957, the OMA has honored an Oregon physician as the Doctor-Citizen of the Year. This award recognizes those doctors who generously commit their time and energy to community activities and work to further the art and science of medicine, and who have made outstanding contributions to health care policy. Special consideration is given to activities outside the practice of medicine.

Dr. Don Girard receives the OMA Doctor-Citizen of the Year AwardDr. Girard has demonstrated throughout his career—and continues to demonstrate on a daily basis—an abiding passion for physician wellness. The OMA award recognizes his good work in this arena. Dr. Girard leads an initiative with The Foundation for Medical Excellence for statewide wellness (the Oregon Wellness Program). He heads the coalition's Executive Committee and the program's group of advisors.

"Dr. Girard is the heart and soul of physician wellness, and we are all indebted to him for his caring and compassion toward improving the lives of practitioners," said Robert Orfaly,* M.D., outgoing 142nd president of the OMA, in presenting Dr. Girard's award.

Dr. Girard is professor emeritus of medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. He is a graduate of Pomona College and the Baylor University School of Medicine. He interned at King County Harborview Hospital in Seattle and completed his residency at St. Joseph Hospital-University of Texas Houston and at University of Oregon, where he was also chief medical resident. Dr. Girard served his country at the Department of Internal Medicine, Martin Army Hospital, Fort Benning, Georgia from 1973-75.

At OHSU, Dr. Girard held several positions, including that of associate dean for Graduate and Continuing Medical Education at the School of Medicine. Among his many distinguished professional accomplishments, Dr. Girard founded the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine, which has now mentored and developed countless academic generalists as a new discipline of medicine. He has also served in numerous local, regional, and national medical organizations.

"Putting the Joy Back into Medicine," the OMA's 2017 Annual Conference, also featured keynote addresses by Elizabeth Lahti, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, and Michael Tutty, Ph.D., M.H.A., vice president, Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability for the American Medical Association, and the installation of the association's 143rd president, Kevin Reavis, M.D.

The Oregon Medical Association is a member-driven organization of over 8,000 physicians, physician assistants, and medical and PA students organized to serve and support physicians in their efforts to improve the health of Oregonians. The association engages in health care advocacy, policy, and community.

*Dr. Robert Orfaly is associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation, OHSU School of Medicine

Pictured: Dr. Don Girard receives the OMA Doctor-Citizen of the Year award from outgoing OMA President Dr. Robert Orfaly.