Fitzhugh Mullan, MD
Program Director

Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan is a Professor of Health Policy at the George Washington University (GW) Milken Institute School of Public Health, Professor of Pediatrics at the GW School of Medicine, and co-director of the GW Health Workforce Institute. Dr. Mullan graduated from Harvard University in 1964 with a degree in history and from the University of Chicago Medical School in 1968. He trained in pediatrics at the Jacobi and Lincoln Hospitals in the Bronx, New York. In 1972 Dr. Mullan was commissioned in the United States Public Health Service and practiced in New Mexico as one of the first physicians in the National Health Service Corps. From 1977 through 1981 he served as Director of the National Health Service Corps followed by time on the staffs of the Institute of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. In 1984-1985 he returned to New Mexico as Secretary of the Health and Environment Department. He was appointed Director of the Bureau of Health Professions in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in 1990 and to the rank of Assistant Surgeon General (Rear Admiral) in 1991. In subsequent years, he served on both the President’s Task Force on Health Care Reform and the Council on Graduate Medical Education. In 1996, he retired from the Public Health Service and joined the staff of the journal Health Affairs as a Contributing Editor and the Founding Editor of the Narrative Matters section. He joined the faculty at George Washington University on a part time basis in 1997 and full time in 2005.

In recent years, his research and policy work have focused on U.S. and international health workforce issues with particular emphasis on capacity building in Africa. During this time he has been the Principal Investigator of the Gates Foundation funded Sub-Saharan African Medical School Study (SAMSS), the Macy Foundation funded Medical Education Futures Study, and the Kellogg Foundation funded Beyond Flexner Study. He is currently the director of the Health Workforce Equity: Human Capital Development Initiative funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies.  

Dr. Mullan has written widely for professional and general audiences on medical and health policy topics. His books include White Coat Clenched Fist: The Political Education of an American Physician (1977), Vital Signs: A Young Doctor’s Struggle with Cancer (1983), and Plagues and Politics: The Story of the United States Public Health Service (1989). He is the senior editor of Healers Abroad: Americans Responding to Human Resource Crisis in the HIV/AIDS (National Academy Press, 2005).  

Dr. Mullan is the Founding Board Chair of Seed Global Health, the Founding President of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.