Professor Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, is a MEPI PI for the GW Coordinating Center and the Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health. He is also Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
Dr. Mullan graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1964 with a degree in history and from the University of Chicago Medical School in 1968. He trained in pediatrics at the Jacobi and Lincoln Hospitals in the Bronx, New York.
In 1972 Dr. Mullan was commissioned in the United States Public Health Service and practiced in New Mexico as one of the first physicians in the National Health Service Corps. From 1977 through 1981 he served as Director of the National Health Service Corps in Washington, D.C., followed by tours as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute of Medicine, as a senior medical officer at the National Institutes of Health and, in 1984-1985, as the Secretary of the Health and Environment Department for the state of New Mexico. During 1986-88 he was on faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health followed by a two years on the staff of the Surgeon General, directing the Office of Public Health History. He was appointed Director of the Bureau of Health Professions in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in 1990 and to the rank of Assistant Surgeon General (Rear Admiral) in 1991. In subsequent years, he served on both the President’s Task Force on Health Care Reform and the Council on Graduate Medical Education. In 1996, he retired from the Public Health Service and joined the staff of the journal Health Affairs as a Contributing Editor and the Editor of the Narrative Matters section, positions he continues to hold. In recent years, his research and policy work has focused on US and international health workforce issues with particular emphasis on capacity building in Africa.
Dr. Mullan has written widely for both professional and general audiences on medical and health policy topics. His books include White Coat Clenched Fist: The Political Education of an American Physician (Macmillan, 1977), Vital Signs: A Young Doctor’s Struggle with Cancer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983), Plagues and Politics: The Story of the United States Public Health Service (Basic Books, 1989), Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care (University of California Press/Milbank Fund, 2002). He is the senior editor of Healers Abroad: Americans Responding to Human Resource Crisis in the HIV/AIDS (National Academy Press, 2005) and Narrative Matters: The Power of the Personal Essay in Health Policy (Johns Hopkins Press, 2006.) Dr. Mullan is the Founding President of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. He is the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s 1988 Courage award, the Society for Surgical Oncology’s 1989 James Ewing medal, as well as the Surgeon General’s Medallion, and the United States Public Health Service’s Distinguished Service Medal. He serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Health Museum. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.