Arnold S. Relman

In July 2023, we changed our name from AACC (short for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry) to the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM). The following page was written prior to this rebranding and contains mentions of the association’s old name. It may contain other out-of-date information as well.

1997 AACC Lectureship Award

Arnold S. Relman, MD, will receive this year’s award, supported by an educational grant from Bayer Diagnostics. Dr. Relman was born in New York City in 1923. He graduated from Cornell University in 1943 with distinction in Philosophy and received his MD from Columbia in 1946. After his internship and residency at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, he became a National Research Council Fellow in Medical Sciences at Boston University School of Medicine. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University in 1951 and remained on the faculty there until 1968, achieving the rank of Professor of Medicine in 1961. From 1962 to 1967 he was Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. In 1967 he became the Conrad Wesselhoeft Professor of Medicine and Director of the V and VI Medical Services at the Boston City Hospital.From 1968 to 1977 Dr. Relman was the Frank Wister Thomas Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.In 1977 he was appointed Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and Senior Physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.In 1991 he became Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Journal, and in July 1993 Professor Emeritus of Medicine and of Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Relman began his research career in nephrology and electrolyte and acid-base balance while at Yale; over a period of nearly 30 years he published numerous original research and clinical studies as well as textbook chapters and monographs on these subjects. His major research interests were in potassium metabolism, renal acidosis, and the regulation of acid-base balance.He was the co-editor, with F. J. Ingelfinger and M. Finland, of two volumes of Controversy in Internal Medicine. In recent years he has written widely on the economic, ethical, legal, and social aspects of healthcare.

Dr. Relman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member (and former member of the Council) of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, a former President of the American Federation for Clinical Research, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He has been a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine (twice certified by the Board), as well as of the Board of Directors of the Hastings Center for Bioethics.He is also a Master of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London.He is a Trustee Emeritus of Columbia University, continues to serve on the Columbia University Trustee’s Committee on the Health Sciences, and is a former trustee of the Boston University and University of Pennsylvania Medical Centers.

Dr. Relman holds honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Brown University, Union University, the State University of New York, the Medical College of Ohio, Temple University, and the Mt. Sinai Medical School of the City University of New York. In 1975–1976 he was a Macy Foundation Faculty Scholar at Oxford University and a Visiting Scientist in Biochemistry at Merton College, Oxford. In 1981, he was awarded the Alumni Gold Medal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and, in 1985, the John Phillips Medal of the American College of Physicians. In March 1987, Dr. Relman was given the Distinguished Service Award of the American College of Cardiology.In 1990 he was the Phi Beta Kappa Orator at the Harvard University Commencement. In 1991 he was elected to the Senate of the Phi Beta Kappa and received the McGovern Award of the Cosmos Club Foundation of Washington, DC. In fall 1992, Dr. Relman was given the Peters Award of the American Society of Nephrology. In May 1993, he was also awarded the Kober Medal of the American Association of Physicians. In 1993 he was asked to serve with the Health Professionals Review Group by The White House. In 1995 Dr. Relman was appointed to the Board of Registration in Medicine of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by Governor Weld.