Now available: 2006 interview with Don Detmer, health policy and biomedical informatics pioneer.

Don Detmer

Don Eugene Detmer, MD, served a pivotal role in crafting the US National Health Information Infrastructure. He chaired a 1991 Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee charged with improving the patient record, which generated a landmark report called “The Computer-based Patient Record.”

Dr. Detmer is University Professor of Health Policy Emeritus and Professor of Medical Education at the University of Virginia and Visiting Professor at the University College London’s Centre for Health Informatics & Multiprofessional Education (CHIME). He served as President and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) from 2004 until 2009, when he became Senior Advisor to AMIA until 2011.

He chaired the Board on Health Care Services of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), and the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine. He was a Commissioner on the HHS Commission on Systemic Interoperability, which published the report “Ending the Document Game: Connecting and Transforming Your Healthcare through Information Technology.”

As a surgeon, he was instrumental in the adoption and development of ambulatory surgery in the early 1970s and was the team physician for the Wisconsin Badgers for 10 years while also serving as President of the Medical Staff. He earned his MD from the University of Kansas, and had subsequent training at the National Institutes of Health, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Duke University Medical Center, the Institute of Medicine, and Harvard Business School. His MA is from the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Detmer enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, riding horses, fly-fishing, reading biographies, and various crafts.

In 2006, Drs. Joan Ash and Dean Sittig interviewed Dr. Detmer. We are honored to publish an illustrated version of that interview, available from: