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Michael Baird ’53

May 27 2018, in Portland, Oregon, of natural causes.

Michael spent his career at Oregon Health & Science University, where he was a physician in internal medicine and psychiatry. He was on the teaching faculty at OHSU Medical School and served as director of medical services at OHSU Hospital. 

Born in Portland to Dr. David and Mary Baird, Michael attended Reed before transferring to the University of Oregon, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in science. During the Korean War, he was accepted into an accelerated program designed to train doctors at the University of Oregon Medical School. He also earned a master’s degree in biochemistry and in 1957 served an internship, followed by a residency in internal medicine, at UOMS.

The medical school became a teaching hospital in 1955, and nearly 20 years later the group of institutions on the Marquam Hill campus were merged into an independent, self-governed institution called the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center. It was renamed Oregon Health Sciences University in 1981, and 20 years later it became Oregon Health & Science University.

Michael was on the teaching faculty and was a physician in internal medicine and psychiatry. In 1968, he became director of medical services, administering the hospitals and clinics. Two challenges he faced were the initiation of charging fees for services at the medical school and insurance billing, brought about by changes in state funding and the creation of Medicare. He oversaw the closing of the Tuberculosis Hospital, which became a campus services building.

In addition to being a scientist, Michael was a musician, a patron of the arts, a gardener, and a philosopher. He married his wife, Jane Spencer, in 1954. She survives him, as do his daughter, Wendy Baird, and his sons, Jeffrey Baird and Andrew Baird.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2018

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