Dr. Howard Selinger appointed Carol L. and Gustave Sirot Endowed Chair of Family Medicine

December 19, 2018

Dr. Howard Selinger poses for a photograph in a suit and tie

The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine has appointed Dr. Howard Selinger the Carol L. and Gustave Sirot Endowed Chair of Family Medicine.

“"The School of Medicine is dedicated to training physicians who will treat the entire person,” said Dr. Bruce Koeppen, dean of the medical school.

"I can think of no one more deserving than Dr. Selinger to hold the Carol L. and Gustave Sirot Endowed Chair in Family Medicine. Throughout his career, Dr. Selinger has been a leader and advocate for family medicine. This endowed chair not only recognizes his many accomplishments, but also his vision for primary care and especially family medicine.”

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated and often misunderstood disorder characterized by a substantial impairment in functioning, a worsening of symptoms following previously tolerated mental or physical activities and extreme fatigue. As chair, Selinger said he is committed to raising awareness and educating Quinnipiac medical students about the treatment of the disorder. He believes the Netter school will become the first to incorporate such formal clinical training into its curriculum.

“True to Carol and Gustave Sirot's vision, we will bring acknowledgement and validation to the many, many patients who suffer in the shadows, isolated from the living and breathing world, with ME/CFS,” Selinger said.

Carol Sirot knows firsthand how debilitating ME/CFS can be. “Of the 20 or so common complaints, I have all of them but one,” she said.

“This illness has a profound effect on your life. So, in recent years I decided that I was going to make it part of my legacy to help other people who suffer with it, too.”

Funds from a generous gift she made to Quinnipiac in 2016 are being used to raise awareness and understanding of ME/CFS among Quinnipiac students, the public and medical professionals and to focus on improving both diagnosis and treatment. She also hopes the illness eventually will get more respect.

“All of the aforementioned diseases are included in medical education curriculum in various forms,” Selinger said. “The lack of curriculum exposure in medical school and clinical exposure in residency programs and teaching hospitals have most likely contributed to the misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment of ME/CFS. At the Netter School, we plan to change this by creating a new curriculum for our medical school students.”

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