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Department of Internal Medicine

Department of Internal Medicine

Lois O'Grady, M.D. an Internal Medicine Pioneer

Lois O'Grady, M.D.Lois O’Grady, one of the original faculty members of the UC Davis School of Medicine and the first woman on faculty, gifts $450,000 of her estate to create an Hematology – Oncology Endowed Lectureship.

“Lois’ generous gift will allow us to bring Nobel Laureates and other medical heavyweights here for our residents and fellows – the future, premier physicians and academicians of the Sacramento region, to learn from the very best and brightest – all thanks to the generous endowed lectureship to be named in her honor,” said Fred Meyers, M.D., Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and longtime colleague and friend of O’Grady’s.

O’Grady was born on 9 June 1936, in Medford, Mass. She received her bachelor’s degree from Simmons College in Boston in 1958, and her medical degree from Boston University in 1962. She completed residency training in internal medicine, and fellowship training in hematology and oncology at Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital (now Rush University Medical Center) in Chicago. She died at her Sacramento home on 23 December 2007.

In 1967, O’Grady became one of the original seven faculty members – called the “Lucky Seven” of the then-new UC Davis School of Medicine. Initially hired as an instructor, Dr. O’Grady became a full professor in 1978. That same year, the dean of the School of Medicine, C. John Tupper, asked O’Grady to formulate a new admissions policy for the school in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. In that decision, the court barred quota systems in college admissions but affirmed the constitutionality of affirmative action programs giving equal access to minorities.

“Dr. O’Grady was a strong mentor and advocate for women faculty,” said Lydia Howell, vice chair and director of anatomic pathology. “Many of the women on the faculty at UC Davis Health System owe at least part of their careers to Dr. O’Grady.”