Updated: January 23, 2013
Beginning in 2009, the newly established Dale L. Williams, M.D. Family Medicine Scholarship shall be awarded to senior medical students who match into the family medicine program at the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine. The scholarships shall be awarded after Match Day of the recipient’s last year of study toward an M.D. degree and the fund was established to encourage medical students to consider a career in family medicine.
In 1975, Dale L. Williams, M.D., a family physician in practice in Muskegon, Mich., was asked to join a group of colleagues who presented a proposal to the University of Michigan Board of Regents and the University of Michigan Medical School to develop a Department of Family Medicine. This department would encourage comprehensive, compassionate care for the entire family, as well as train future leaders in this specialty. Although the proposal met with some resistance, the group persevered and in 1978 the Department of Family Medicine was created at the University of Michigan.
Prior to this, in 1973, Dr. Williams established the Koinonia Medical Clinic (now known as the Muskegon Family Care Center) where medical care was provided without regard to patient income. Hence the term “koinonia,” which according to Dr. Williams “...is a Greek word for 'working together, helping others,'” was truly an appropriate name. He retired from family practice in Muskegon after 30 years and he and his wife, Christel, split their time between Grand Rapids and Florida.
This gift honors a man who was instrumental in the inception of the department and who will impact its future and the future of the specialty by providing support for students who choose a career in family medicine.
“I can not help but be amazed at the great strides that the Department of Family Medicine has made since its beginning. It has become the quality program for family practice, and I feel proud at having done a small part in the beginning,” noted Dr. Williams.