1948: Metabolism, Endocrinology and nutrition
In 1948, Dr. Robert H. Williams, a nationally prominent endocrinologist, was appointed to chair the newly established Department of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
He founded the Division of Endocrinology - the department's first subspecialty division - the same year and headed the division and was chair of the Department of Medicine from 1948-1963. He continued as division head until 1975.
In 1978, the division name was changed from Endocrinology to its present name, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
The Division of Gastroenterology was established in 1949 by Dr. Wade Volwiler, who led the division for 31 years. Dr. Volwiler was a gastroenterologist and physician-scientist who studied malabsorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
The Division of Hematology was founded in 1949 by Dr. Clement Finch who led the division until 1981.
Over the years, the division flourished into one of the top academic hematology programs nationally with faculty members contributing major impacts on blood and blood cancer research, patient care, and training the next generation of hematology investigators and physicians.
The Division of Cardiology was founded in 1950, and its clinical and research lineages are both traced to Dr. Robert A. Bruce, the founding Division Head.
Bruce developed the exercise treadmill test that bears his name: the “Bruce Protocol,” which remains the gold standard for evaluating human cardiovascular function in both clinical and research settings.
Cardiology faculty continue to expand Bruce’s legacy by combining world-class clinical care with ground-breaking research that uses clinical, population, and laboratory-based approaches.
1957: Medical Genetics
The Division of Medical Genetics was founded in 1957 by Dr. Arno Motulsky, and the Medical Genetics Clinic opened at University Hospital. Then one of the few genetic disease and counseling clinics in the country, it remains prominent today.
Dr. Motulsky was known as the “father of pharmacogenetics” and laid the foundation for the division’s role as a leader in genetic discovery.
The Division of Nephrology was established in 1958 by Dr. Belding Scribner and is regarded as the birthplace of outpatient dialysis worldwide. Over the past 65 years, divisional faculty have continued to lead and shape the field of nephrology.
Originally established as the Division of Arthritis, the Division of Rheumatology was founded in 1958 by Dr. John Decker and consisted of him and one other faculty member.
Today the division has expanded to over 60 members and is a national leader in the care of rheumatic conditions, in basic, translational, and clinical research, and training future leaders in rheumatology.
Founded in 1961, the Division of Dermatology has become a nationally recognized leader for its contributions to skin biology research and a center of excellence in dermatology clinical care and education. It is now the Department of Dermatology.
1963: Medical Oncology
The Division of Medical Oncology was founded in 1963 by Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, who would go on to receive the Nobel prize in 1990 for his pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation.
1965: Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
The Division of Respiratory Diseases was founded in 1965 by Dr. John Butler and later renamed the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Sleep Medicine was added to the division name in March 2017.
1976: Allergy and Infectious Diseases
In 1976, the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Division of Allergy were combined to form the new Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, led by Dr. Seymour Klebanoff.
1977: Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine
In 1977, the discipline of gerontology separated from the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology, and the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine was established.
1985: General Internal Medicine
The Division of General Internal Medicine was established in 1985 with Dr. Thomas Inui as the first division head.
It is now the largest General Internal Medicine division in the country with an extensive portfolio of education and research programs, and primary and hospital care in many settings including five medical centers, numerous ambulatory care clinics, patients’ homes, supportive housing, and substance use treatment programs.