In Memoriam

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Merle Pennington ’41

Merle Pennington ’41, April 30, 1996, while working at his home in Tualatin, Oregon. He was a family physician and medical educator who had been practicing in Oregon since graduating from the University of Oregon Medical School (Oregon Health & Science University) in 1944. In 1948, he opened a family medicine practice in the Sherwood-Tualatin area, and he helped found Tuality Hospital in 1954. He left a full-time medical practice in 1972 to pursue his love of medical education. He worked for a time in Arizona, where he created and directed a residency for family doctors on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. In 1977, he returned to Oregon to become an associate professor in the family medicine department at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, now Oregon Health Sciences University. He retired in 1985 but continued as a volunteer teacher for the next 10 years. During his career, he was instrumental in developing the first program in the United States of required continuing education for physicians, and he helped develop medical education programs for small Oregon towns. He was named the Oregon Doctor-Citizen of the Year in 1965 by the Oregon Medical Association and the Family Doctor of the Year in 1991 by the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians. He served on the Tuality Healthcare Board of Directors from 1985 until his death and on the Tualatin Valley Mental Health Care Center board of directors from 1983 to 1990. An active member of the Oregon Medical Association, he served on numerous committees and on the board of trustees. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, two daughters, a son, and six grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 1996

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