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Dr. DeWitt C. Baldwin Jr.
Dr. DeWitt C. “Bud” Baldwin, Jr., a pediatrician, psychiatrist, family physician, researcher, and educator, pioneered medical and health science interprofessional education and practice in the U.S. His seminal contributions to, and unfaltering belief in, interdisciplinary communication and collaboration serve as the cornerstone for new models of team-based health care.
Dr. Baldwin grew up in Burma, the son of missionary educators who worked alongside medical- care teams and became leaders in the field of group dynamics. His first professional experience also left a deep imprint. He served as part of an interdisciplinary team of teaching and practicing health professionals at the Child Health Center at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Dr. Baldwin’s philosophy and vision for team-based care calls for a learning environment where skills and experience in interprofessional teamwork are integrated with basic scientific knowledge. Interprofessional learning, as Dr. Baldwin so eloquently lectured and demonstrated, must be reinforced by clinical experience in which team-building and function are core to the curriculum.
A prolific author and co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Association for Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education, Dr. Baldwin has held academic appointments in pediatrics, psychiatry, family medicine, and numerous other health sciences. He was a member of planning committees and founding faculties for medical schools at the University of Connecticut and later at the University of Nevada, where he helped create an interdisciplinary program that featured, among other innovations, both pre-clinical and clinical health care team training. He currently holds the title of Scholar in Residence at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
Dr. Baldwin, who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to understanding and improving the human condition through the collaboration of individuals of different backgrounds, genders, religious affiliations, and points of view, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 2011. In 2014, Rosalind Franklin University dedicated the DeWitt C. Baldwin Institute for Interprofessional Education to honor his vision, innovations, and dedication to the pursuit of IPECP and team-based care.
Dr. Baldwin passed away in January 2022 at age 99. In sharing the news of his passing with the RFU community, President and CEO Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM, paid homage to his career as a champion of collaborative education and practice. His vision endures in the shared mission of RFU and the Baldwin Institute.
Dr. Rheault’s message to the RFU community on January 11, 2022
Dear RFU Community:
I’m saddened to share the news that DeWitt C. “Bud” Baldwin, Jr., MD, passed away last week at age 99. Dr. Baldwin was the namesake of RFU’s Institute for Interprofessional Education, an honor that reflected his legacy as a pioneer in the pedagogy of healthcare collaboration.
Dr. Baldwin was a pediatrician, psychiatrist and family physician who held professorial appointments across multiple fields at more than a dozen medical and graduate schools. This interdisciplinary approach inspired his groundbreaking advocacy for communication and collaboration among medical teams. His belief in team-based care and collaborative practice drove innovation among educators and professionals throughout the course of his career, which spanned seven decades.
RFU first honored Dr. Baldwin with a Doctorate in Humane Letters in 2011. In May 2014, the Baldwin Institute was dedicated in the Health Sciences Building with a mission to support, advance and sustain RFU’s interprofessional educational activities, including clinical rotations.
At the dedication ceremony, Dr. Baldwin was accurately described as the soul, conscience and courage of graduate medical education, and his vision was summarized with a memorable quote: “If you do it together, you do it better than if you do it by yourself.”
In sharing the news of Dr. Baldwin’s passing, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) — where he served until recently as Senior Scholar-in-Residence — noted that he died peacefully in his home in Chicago and is survived by his wife, Michele, two daughters and four grandchildren. I extend my deepest sympathies to the Baldwin family, along with my appreciation for his enduring impact on collaborative practices.
Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
President and CEO