June 20, 2003

Spickard named Chancellor Professor of Medicine

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Dr. W. Anderson Spickard Jr. and his wife, Sue Spickard, left, pose with Howell and Madeline Adams at a reception last week. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Dr. W. Anderson Spickard Jr. was honored last week at a reception at Vanderbilt after being named Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine.

Howell and Madeline Adams, supporters of Spickard’s work in health care, pledged $750,000 to establish the Chancellor’s Chair.

Spickard has been involved in the care of patients with alcohol and drug addiction since his early days in practice of Internal Medicine. In 1977, after the death of a colleague with alcoholism, Spickard devoted his career to learning more about addiction as it affected the person and his/her family.

This effort led to the opening of the Vanderbilt Institute for the Treatment of Addiction in 1984 and the publication of the book, “Dying For A Drink: What You Should Know About Alcoholism.”

Spickard is the founding director of VITA and was the founding chief for the Division of General Internal Medicine.

Since 1984, Spickard has continued his practice of General Internal Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and organized the Center for Professional Health (CPH). Continued Medical Education programs for physicians on proper prescribing of narcotics and maintaining proper boundaries are held monthly in the CPH.

Spickard now leads the Physician Wellness Committee for Vanderbilt Medical Center, which has become the national model for overseeing physician well-being for hospitals in the United States.

In 2002, Spickard, Dean Steven Gabbe, and John Christensen, Ph.D. authored a paper for the Journal of the American Medical Association that addressed the emerging concern about burnout in American physicians.