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|Jane Green Schaller '56|
While perhaps 50 percent of today's medical school students are women, this was not the case forty-four years ago. Nevertheless, Dr. Jane Green Schaller '56 has a record of achievement in the field of medicine that is remarkable by anyone's standards, and which sets her apart as a woman of distinction.
For Dr. Schaller, these "distinctions" includes a stint as President of Harvard Medical School's Alumni Association – the first female president in the Association's history – Chief of Pediatrics for a major Boston teaching hospital, department chair and David and Leona Karp Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, founding president of Physicians for Human Rights, and most-recently, president–elect of the International Pediatric Association.
After graduation from Hiram College with a perfect 4.0 average in 1956, Dr. Schaller earned her M.D., cum laude, from Harvard Medical School in 1960. She then completed both an internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, followed by a two-year appointment as a senior fellow in immunology there. She was subsequently appointed to the medical school faculty at the University of Washington, where she spent nearly 20 years, rose to the rank of full professor, and established a national reputation in the field of pediatric arthritis.
In fact, Hiram College honored Jane with their prestigious Alumni Achievement Award in 1982 in recognition of her exceptional career in medicine and her pioneering efforts to open new doors to women in the medical profession. Little did we know then that her first 20 years as a doctor were only a prelude to what was to become a career of monumental accomplishment.
In 1983, Dr. Schaller left the University of Washington to accept her current posts -- the Karp Chair I Pediatrics at Tufts University School Medicine in Boston and the role of Pediatrician-in-Chief of the Floating Hospital for Infants and Children under the auspices of the New England Medical Center. In her "spare time," she is a lecturer in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
It was during this second phase of her illustrious career that Dr. Schaller took on an important role as a social activist, marshalling the resources of the medical community to confront human rights abuses around the world. In 1986, she became the founding president of Physicians for Human Rights and continues to be active in that organization. In 1989, she extended that work by helping to form the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and children. Her human rights work has taken her to some of the most impoverished and conflict–ridden countries in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.
The author of countless articles, manuscripts, editorials and opinion pieces, she has contributed greatly to the field of pediatric medicine and arthritis research. In addition, some of these works have reflected her continued dedication to the human rights movement.
Well-known on the speaker's circuit, she has delivered hundreds of lectures across the United States and throughout the world.