John P. McGovern held seventeen professorships, received twenty-nine honorary doctorates, and established the nation's largest privately owned allergy and immunology clinic. He authored 252 professional publications including twenty-six books in the medical sciences and humanities, and served as president or chief elected officer of fifteen professional societies in medicine. In addition, the McGovern Foundation has given millions of dollars to various local and national health charities, and many Houston landmarks bear the McGovern name, including the McGovern Lake and McGovern Children's Zoo (at Houston's Hermann Park), the McGovern Health and Science Museum, and the McGovern Campus of the Texas Medical Center. Bryant Boutwell, a long-time friend and colleague, has captured the influential life of this visionary Texas physician in John P. McGovern, MD: A Lifetime of Stories . In captivating narrative, interlaced with revealing personal and family stories, Boutwell chronicles McGovern's holistic approach to medicine, which transcended the traditional boundaries of institutional identities and medical specialties.
McGovern worked tirelessly to bring together big institutions, the health professions, bold interdisciplinary ideas, and a team approach to healthcare that, though prescient at the time, is recognized today as imperative. This commitment led to his founding role in the American Osler Society, which promotes humanistic and ethical dimensions of the practice of medicine, and his establishment of humanities programs at the UT Health Science Center at Houston and the UT Medical Branch at Galveston.
BRYANT BOUTWELL has served the institutions of Houston's Texas Medical Center for nearly four decades. He is a distinguished teaching professor and currently holds the John P. McGovern, MD, Professorship in Oslerian Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
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