NEWS | October 19, 2015

UC Davis Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and School of Medicine Dean Julie Freischlag elected to the National Academy of Medicine


Julie Ann Freischlag, UC Davis vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), an achievement that is among the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Julie Freischlag Julie Freischlag

The academy, established in 1970 under the name Institute of Medicine (IOM), is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral science; and beyond. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as adviser to the nation and the international community. Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine, and related policy and inspire positive action across sectors.

The NAM elects no more than 70 regular members and 10 international members annually. For those at the top of their field, NAM membership reflects the height of professional achievement and commitment to service.

“This is a tremendous and well-deserved achievement that reflects Dr. Freischlag’s professional accomplishments as a leader in academic medicine,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “Her research saves and improves lives, and she will greatly serve the Academy of Medicine in its efforts to solve the most pressing health issues around the world.”

Freischlag is one of the most prominent leaders among the nation's academic health centers. For more than 15 years, she has led education and training programs at top medical schools in her role as professor and chair of surgery and vascular surgery departments. Freischlag also has more than 25 years of experience leading patient-care services as chief of surgery or vascular surgery at nationally ranked hospitals. Before joining UC Davis Health System, she served as professor, chair of the surgery department and surgeon-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. She led initiatives to expand research, add specialty clinical services, improve patient-centered care and patient safety, redesign the surgical training program and enhance academic career paths for faculty.

Her national leadership includes serving as a former governor and secretary of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons, and was chair of the Board of Regents for two years. She is a past president of the Society for Vascular Surgery, the Association of VA Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Chairs. She is immediate past president of the Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation. Freischlag was the editor of JAMA Surgery for ten years (2005-2014) and a member of the editorial boards of the Annals of Vascular SurgeryJournal of the American College of Surgeons, and British Journal of Surgery.

She has published more than 257 manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters, primarily addressing the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms, carotid artery disease and peripheral vascular disease utilizing outcome data and clinical trials. Freischlag is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome which can require a specialized surgical procedure. Her present research involves a prospective randomized trial that tracks more than 800 patients from 34 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the country to compare outcomes in patients who received either open or endovascular repair of their abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Freischlag received a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Illinois and a medical degree from Rush University Medical College in Chicago. She completed her surgical residency and vascular fellowship at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Freischlag has received numerous teaching awards and an achievement award from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Baltimore Magazine named her "Top Doctor" and Working Mother Magazine selected her as one of the "10 most powerful moms in health care.

She has mentored students, residents and young faculty and is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from her expertise in vascular diseases, teamwork and patient safety, leadership and work-life balance to women succeeding in health professions. Freischlag has dedicated her career to serving as a role model for her students, a respected colleague across health professions, a strong community leader and a national voice for improving health and health care.

“Dr. Freischlag has had a lasting impact on patients around the world and future generations of physicians throughout her distinguished career in medicine,” said UC Davis Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter. “Her election to the National Academy of Medicine is a great recognition that brings credit to her leadership, her research and her commitment to health for all. This is a phenomenal honor for her, as well as the school and university.”

UC Davis Health System is improving lives and transforming health care by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education, and creating dynamic, productive partnerships with the community. The academic health system includes one of the country’s best medical schools, a 619-bed acute-care teaching hospital, a 1,000-member physician's practice group and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, an international neurodevelopmental institute, a stem cell institute and a comprehensive children’s hospital. Other nationally prominent centers focus on advancing telemedicine, improving vascular care, eliminating health disparities and translating research findings into new treatments for patients. Together, they make UC Davis a hub of innovation that is transforming health for all. For more information, visit