Bruce Dan, MD-health communicator, dies

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bdan.gif16 months ago I blogged about my old friend Bruce Dan’s struggle with acute myelocytic leukemia.

His wife posted a note yesterday that Bruce had died.

He was one of the good guys: doctor, teacher, communicator, comic, husband, father.

Bruce was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Medical Communicators in 2010.

He was a specialist in infectious diseases and medical communications. He was Executive Director and Managing Editor for NBC/GE Healthcare’s The Patient Channel, Adjunct Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor and Clinical Associate Professor at the School of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Courtesy Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine.

Earlier in his career, Bruce was the Senior Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Medical Editor for ABC News, Chicago, Resident Physician for the weekly health program, HealthWeek on PBS, and hosted Medical Minutes on National Public Radio. He was a member of the U.S. Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Deputy Chief of the Toxic Shock Syndrome Task Force. He received the CDC’s highest award for epidemic investigation and the U.S. Public Health Service’s Commendation Medal for his part in investigating toxic shock syndrome.

Bruce received his MD from Vanderbilt University and completed postdoctoral fellowships at both Vanderbilt and Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

We convey our sympathies to Bruce’s family.

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Jill O'Mahony Stewart

September 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Bruce Dan for many years on the AMA’s Health Reporting Conference. He was the backbone of it and the true behind-the-scenes guy with all of his incredible medical communicator contacts and great ideas for teaching people how to communicate important health information to consumers. We will miss him greatly.

barry cohn/diane cohn

September 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I had the wonderful pleasure of working WITH and for Dr. Dan(as you know)@ the AMA from 1987 to 1993.
He is/was a wonderful colleague.
He was a born teacher,mentor and most importantly a friend.
As a reporter he was working in the hay day of Physician health reporting era.
Dr. Dan broke the story on the death of Mayor Washington,because he was @ the hospital–doing a story, the ABC station here in Chicago.
He was always available for Diane-HRC- when putting on the many conferences that they worked on together.
He will be truly missed by the physician and lay audiences alike.

Mrs. JB Kilgore

September 18, 2011 at 11:19 am

Out of medical interest what were Mr. Dan’s first symptoms in contracting myelocytic leukemia? My most profound sympathies to his family having worked with all types of leukemia patients.

Beverly Merz

April 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I was googling to see what Bruce was up to these days and was shocked and saddened to find this. I worked with him at JAMA in the 80’s and early 90’s and the place was illuminated by his prodigious intelligence and antic sense of humor. I’m sure many in many communities are still mourning his loss.