The Robert G. Petersdorf Page

Controlled the Association of American Medical Colleges from 1986 to 1994

Infectious Diseases Society

"My membership in the IDSA was protected by a friendly and gullible secretary, Ted Eickhoff, who persuaded a tolerant Council that, whether Chairman of Medicine, Hospital President, or now Dean and Vice Chancellor, I couldn't be all bad, and that I wished genuinely to maintain my membership in this Society. Even I thought that I deserved that reward because I had supplied the subject matter for at least two, and possibly more, Presidential Addresses with an immortal quote from my 1978 paper 'The Doctors' Dilemma': 'Even with my great personal loyality to Infectious Disease, I cannot conceive the need for 309 more infectious disease experts unless they spend their time culturing each other... In his 1978 Presidential address, the late Harry Feldman was the first to take official issue with my quotation about infectious disease manpower. He called me a respected figure and a formidable opponent - I thought I was everyone's friend; it never occurred to me that I was this Society's opponent. He implied that I had shot myself in the foot, because, as he put it, 'the numbers game is complex, full of subtleties, and dangerous to play.' He pointed out that there were more aged people who were destined to develop more and more infections, and hence there would be more and more need for infectious disease specialists. I had always thought that infections were one way for the tired, old, and troubled to leave this planet, and here we were putting up barriers." (Whither Infectious Diseases? Memories, Manpower, and Money. RG Petersdorf. J Infect Dis 1986 Feb;153(2):189-195.)

Petersdorf / J Infect Dis 1986 full article

Research! America

Petersdorf was elected to the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation's unregistered lobby group, Research!America, in 1990. "Other members of the Research!America Board of Directors include former Speaker of the House Thomas "Tip" O'Neill, writer and researcher Lewis Thomas, MD, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, and president of the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation Purnell Choppin, MD. Edwin C. Whitehead, chairman of the board of Research!America, also announced that Mary Wooley has been elected president and chief executive officer of the organization." (FASEB President Dr. Thomas Edgington Elected to Research!America Board. FASEB Newsletter Dec. 1990, p. 12.)

FASEB Newsletter, 1990 / UCSF


1964-69, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine at Seattle; 1979-81, President of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; 1981 Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego; 1986-94 President of the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 1994 named President Emeritus; 1995-98 Distinguished Physician at the Puget Sound Health Care System. In 2003, he was on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Clinical Evaluation.

Board of Directors / Institute for Clinical Evaluation


In 2003, Petersdorf was on the Board of Directors of SIBCR: "The Seattle Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Research (SIBCR) was formed under Public Law 100-322 which authorized the establishment of a nonprofit research corporation to receive and administer non-VA appropriated funds in support of the research mission of the affiliated VA health care system." (Public Laws at 38USCss7361-7368.)


The PNLDP: Lying to Congress

He was a member of the Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy group, which was formed at the New York Academy of Medicine in 1997. Other members are Jeremiah A. Barondess of NYAM; Edward N. Brandt Jr, a former Assistant Secretary for Health during the Reagan administration; Lonnie R. Bristow, former head of the AMA; David A. Kessler, former head of the FDA in the Bush and Clinton administrations; Philip R. Lee, former Assistant Secretary for Health in the Johnson and Clinton administrations; Antonia C. Novello, former Surgeon General during the Bush #1 administration; and Louis Sullivan, DHHS Secretary during the Bush #1 administration. David C Lewis lied to Congress when he parroted the fraudulent about the supposed 419,000 deaths from tobacco use, and recited the big, filthy, rancid lie that smoking costs the US economy $72 billion, to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, July 28, 1998.

PNLDP Lying to Congress / US Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources 1998

Albany Medical Center

Petersdorf was on the Selection Committee of the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, along with RWJF President Steven A. Schroeder and former Harvard School of Medicine Dean Daniel C. Tosteson (2003).

Prize in Medicine / Albany Medical Center

Friends of the National Library of Medicine

2002 Board of Directors of Friends of the National Library of Medicine: Longtime Lasker ally former Rep. Paul G. Rogers is chaiman. Other board members: Former Assistant Secretary for Health Edward N. Brandt Jr.; former HEW chief Joseph A. Califano Jr.; Lois DeBakey; Mary Lasker's crony Michael E. DeBakey; Mary's nephew, James Fordyce; her friend, Frances Humphrey Howard; Joshua Lederberg; Gilbert Omenn's mentor, Robert G. Petersdorf; Former Surgeons General Julius B. Richmond and Louis W. Sullivan; John Whitehead of Research!America; Susan Whitehead; and Mary Woolley, President of Research!America.

Board of Directors / Friends of the National Library of Medicine

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cast 05-02-14