University of Vermont

Medical Alumnus Burkle Elected to Institute of Medicine

Frederick M. Burkle, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., D.T.M., of the University of Vermont College of Medicine Class of 1965, was among 65 new members elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM), as announced this week.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome these distinguished and influential individuals to the Institute of Medicine," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D. "Members are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes people who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. Election is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health."

Burkle, who received the 2005 UVM College of Medicine Medical Alumni Association Award for Service to Medicine and Community, is a senior scholar and visiting professor in the Center for Disaster and Refugee Studies at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and research scientist at the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins. In addition, he serves as a senior fellow of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health, as director of the Asia-Pacific Center for Biosecurity, Disaster, and Conflict Research, and as adjunct professor of surgery, tropical medicine and public health sciences and epidemiology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.

A former deputy assistant administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development in the State Department and founder of the Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance of the World Health Organization, Burkle served combat tours in the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars. During the latter, he served as senior medical officer in Iraq on the Disaster Assistance Response Team for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance USAID, and as the interim minister of health in Iraq. After earning his medical degree, he served residencies in pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Yale University. Burkle holds graduate degrees from Yale, Dartmouth, the University of California at Berkeley, as well as a diploma from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Qualified in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, emergency medicine and psychiatry, he is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has published over 120 articles and book chapters, as well as four textbooks including the definitive reference on disaster medicine.

The Institute of Medicine is unique for its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on human health issues. With their election, members make a commitment to devote a significant amount of volunteer time as members of IOM committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health policy issues. IOM's total membership is now 1,693.

Currently active IOM members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their professional achievement and commitment to service. An unusual diversity of talent is assured by the Institute's charter, which stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership be selected from outside the health professions, from such fields as the natural, social, and behavioral sciences, as well as law, administration, engineering, and the humanities.