Dr. Leonard L. Madison: Professor Emeritus helped build IM prestige

By Russell Rian

Dr. Leonard Lincoln Madison, Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine who was renowned for his clinical prowess and dedication to teaching new generations of physicians, died March 27 in Florida. He was 94.

Dr. Madison, one of the early recruits to UT Southwestern Medical Center, was an Internal Medicine faculty member from 1950 to 1997, including serving as Chief of the Metabolism Clinic at Parkland Memorial Hospital for many years.

“The dual impact of Dr. Madison as a devoted personal physician, coupled with his leadership in selecting and training young physicians, played a major role in the emergence of UT Southwestern into the forefront of American medical institutions,” said Dr. Donald Seldin, UT System Professor and former longtime Chairman of Internal Medicine. “In addition to his meticulous devotion to patient care, Dr. Madison was, for many years, in charge of our house staff recruiting program. The high caliber of young interns and residents is due in large part to Dr. Madison’s perceptive choice of applicants, who then went on to become distinguished practitioners and world-famous investigators.”

Dr. Madison led the Resident and House Staff Selection Committee for many years and received the Internal Medicine House Staff Outstanding Teacher Award several times. Well known for long, rigorous teaching rounds, Dr. Madison took great pride as his students became top-rated clinicians.

“Dr. Madison was my first attending physician as a third-year medical student,” recalled Dr. Daniel Foster, Professor of Internal Medicine and also a longtime Chairman. “That was where I first observed him evaluating the patient, looking, and asking questions. He never took his eyes off them. He dictated his notes to the resident, or sometimes the student. He did that for decades.”

Dr. Madison’s research focused on diabetes and his first important experiments examined how the liver made glucose. His efforts were well recognized with multiple honors, including appointments to the General Medicine Study Section for the National Institutes of Health and the Therapeutic Committee of the American Diabetes Association. He also served as president of the Central Society for Clinical Research in 1971 and garnered the Jacobaeus Award in Stockholm, Sweden, for Research in Physiology in 1967.

Born Feb. 11, 1920, in Manhattan, New York City, he graduated summa cum laude with High Distinction in Zoology from The Ohio State University in 1941 after being elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year. He received his medical degree from Long Island College of Medicine in Brooklyn in 1944, receiving the Phi Delta Epsilon Prize for the highest scholastic record. Dr. Madison completed his residency at Long Island College of Medicine and Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, and served as Chief of Medical Service at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Dr. Madison was named Associate Professor at UT Southwestern in 1958, Professor in 1964, and Professor Emeritus upon his retirement.

Memorials can be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Fund under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Weissler, c/o Dr. Jonathan Weissler, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390.

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Dr. Seldin holds the William Buchanan Chair in Internal Medicine. 

Dr. Foster holds the John Denis McGarry, Ph.D., Distinguished Chair in Diabetes and Metabolic Research.

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