R.I.P. Sherman

On July 17th Sherman Mellinkoff died at his home in Westwood He was 96 years old and was the former Dean of UCLA School of Medicine.He was the longest tenured dean of the school.Unmentioned in the excellent obituary in the LA Times is his powerful support and influence in the creation of the Charles Drew Postgraduate Medical School.(Now Charles Drew University of Medicine)Its founding Dean,the late Mitchell Spellman, obtained the strong support of Mellinkoff and UCLA as well as USC initially. in creating this institution to train young minority doctors to serve the Watts community.The basic concept of using community physicians as educators was flawed as Mitch Spellman was to admit later,and put post residency community physicians who had to be out of touch with the latest developments in medicine in conflict with their academic helpers.The tripartite “sponsorship” of the institution(county,community,academia)  was also a source of friction and confusion.The resultant ills of the insitution have been LA  Times reported and well documented,but Mellinkoffs belief in the possible,albeit improbable, has resulted in a surviving institution still backed by  UCLA educationally and still serving its community.


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