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AMA Honors Chicago Physician with Distinguished Service Award

For immediate release:
Nov. 12, 2011

New OrleansThe American Medical Association (AMA) presented Sandra F. Olson, M.D., a neurologist from Chicago, Ill., with its 2011 Distinguished Service Award today at its semi-annual policy-making meeting. Established in 1938, the Distinguished Service Award is presented for meritorious service in the science and art of medicine.

“Dr. Olson has excelled at working for the good of the medical profession as a highly respected physician, leader, teacher and administrator,” said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, M.D. “We’re delighted to honor her with the Distinguished Service Award.”

Named the first woman president of the Chicago Medical Society, Dr. Olson went on to be the first female to lead the Chicago Neurological Society, Illinois State Medical Society and the American Academy of Neurology. In addition, she was the first female chief-of-staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

As an active member of the AMA, Dr. Olson was elected to the AMA Council on Medical Education and served as chair of this influential advisory committee from 2004 to 2005. She served three years as a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, an organization that accredits medical residency programs in the United States. She has also represented Illinois physicians for nearly two decades in the House of Delegates, the AMA’s policy-making body.

After graduating from the Fienberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in 1963, Dr. Olson began her clinical career as a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She returned to the Feinberg School in 1969 as an instructor in neurology and continued teaching there until 2005, when she retired as a professor of clinical neurology.



Robert J. Mills
American Medical Association
(312) 464-5970

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