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History of the Department

The Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center today has a worldwide reputation as one of the nation’s finest. Few, if any, would have predicted that would be the case when the Department was founded in the 1940s in a collection of dilapidated buildings.

What was it like in the shacks? How did the Department achieve prominence? Who were some of the key members? Where’s the Department headed now?


History of the Department of Internal Medicine: Introduction
From the very humblest of beginnings to today’s 600+ member department, Internal Medicine has seen many changes over seven decades. Hear the story of the Department from four exceptional physicians who’ve led it.

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Donald Seldin, M.D., Chair, 1952–1987

Department of Internal Medicine: Volume 1
When Donald Seldin, M.D., became Chair of Internal Medicine at UTSW in 1952, he was literally a department of one. Things changed a bit over the next several decades.

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Daniel Foster, M.D., Chair, 1987–2003

Department of Internal Medicine: Volume 2
Daniel Foster, M.D., had been a top medical student at UTSW who was persuaded to return and join the faculty. In 1987, he would be asked to serve again – as Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.

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Gregory Fitz, M.D., Chair, 2003–2009

Department of Internal Medicine: Volume 3
Gregory Fitz, M.D., was recruited to the Department of Internal Medicine in 2003 from the snows of Colorado with a “promise” of sorts – the promise of what UTSW could accomplish and its enormous potential.

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David Johnson, M.D., Chair, 2010–Present

Department of Internal Medicine: Volume 4
David Johnson, M.D., wasn’t the first Tennessean to make his way to Texas when he was recruited to UTSW in 2010 from Vanderbilt to head the Department of Internal Medicine. He’s brought big ideas with him.

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