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UC Davis Health System

UC Davis Health System

Internal medicine pioneer establishes new lectureship

Lois O'Grady © UC Regents
Lois O'Grady

Posted March 24, 2010

Lois O’Grady, one of the original faculty members of the UC Davis School of Medicine and the first woman on faculty, has given $450,000 of her estate to create a 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, executive associate dean of UC Davis Health System and a longtime colleague and friend of O’Grady’s.

Dr. Howell © UC Regents“Dr. O’Grady was a strong mentor and advocate for women faculty. Many of the women on the faculty at UC Davis Health System owe at least part of their careers to Dr. O’Grady.”
— Lydia Howell

O’Grady was born on June 9, 1936, in Medford, Mass. She received her bachelor’s degree from Simmons College in Boston and her medical degree from Boston University. She completed residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in hematology and oncology. She died at her Sacramento home on Dec. 23, 2007.

This article first appeared in Pass the Torch, the newsletter of the UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine, the largest clinical program of UC Davis Health System. The department's physicians and staff are dedicated to the comprehensive, compassionate practice of medicine — from prevention to acute treatment to palliative care.

For more information, visit the Internal Medicine Web site. If you'd like to receive future issues of the newsletter, please e-mail Tiffany McMurray.

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.

In 1978, the dean of the school, 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 the Bakke case. 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, director of anatomic pathology and acting chair of the UC Davis Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “Many of the women on the faculty at UC Davis Health System owe at least part of their careers to Dr. O’Grady.”