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Honoring John J. Sheinin, MD, PhD, DSc
Rosalind Franklin University Is the Proud Repository of the Dr. John J. Sheinin Collection, Archival Material Connected to the Late Chicago Medical School President's Leadership and Scholarship.
The materials were donated in August 2018 by Dr. Sheinin's son, James Sheinin, MD, and his wife, Rita Sheinin. Two months later, on Oct. 19, the university dedicated its lobby to Dr. Sheinin in celebration of a $1 million donation by Burton "Burt" Roth, MD '63, and the late Natalie Roth, to the John J. Sheinin, MD, PhD, DSc, Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
Dr. Sheinin served as chairman of the Anatomy Department and dean and president of CMS, where his career spanned more than three decades, from 1932 to 1966. He championed the school's hard-won accreditation, granted by the American Medical Association's Council on Medical Education in 1948. A Russian refugee, he inspired a deep love for medicine and gratitude for the equality of opportunity that CMS extended to students and faculty, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.
A gifted anatomist, optimistic and energetic, Dr. Sheinin paid for his education through factory work and jobs as a sign painter and itinerant salesman. He embodied the ideals of the founders of CMS, who were determined to diversify the medical profession by rejecting the ethnic and racial quotas of the day and granting admission based solely on character and scholarship merit. He highlighted the school's founding principle of nondiscrimination to garner philanthropic support and declared, "The Chicago Medical School is as American as the very Constitution of this country." First lady Eleanor Roosevelt praised Dr. Sheinin and the CMS admission policy in her nationally syndicated "My Day" column in 1949.
The school made numerous advances under Dr. Sheinin's leadership, including excellence in faculty recruitment, student academic achievement and investments in science including the Institute for Research, constructed in 1961. His vision for the development of an independent university where future health professionals from varied disciplines would train together and learn to work in teams gave impetus to the establishment of the University of Health Sciences in 1967 and helped inspire RFU's model of interprofessional education and collaborative practice.
"Dr. Sheinin's efforts provided the foundation for all that CMS has become," said CMS Dean James M. Record, MD, JD, FACP. "We gratefully acknowledge both the Sheinin family's donation of archival materials and the Roth family's donation for scholarship support. Both gifts are a testament to Dr. Sheinin's legacy and to the Chicago Medical School's enduring dedication to educating physician leaders who lead the transformation of care."
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