Don Amren ’54

2004 Distinguished Citizen Award

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Don Amren is grateful for a long and varied career in medicine in which he conducted research, taught the next generation of physicians and provided direct care to his pediatric patients. He was a protégé of Professor O. T. Walter, who encouraged him to do research at Macalester and to continue his education at Yale University School of Medicine. In 1958, Amren graduated from Yale, a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society. After an internship and residency at the University of Minnesota, he joined the Army, serving as a pediatrician in Heidelberg, Germany.

Upon his return to Minnesota, Amren forged a cooperative arrangement enabling him to combine teaching at the University and at Hennepin County Medical Center, a 28-year pediatrics practice at Park Nicollet Clinic and research in infectious diseases. His research resulted in at least 17 articles, and many advances in the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in children, including the switch to a more effective rubella vaccine, which significantly reduced rubella cases and the correlated birth defects. In 1990, Amren became the first medical director at Methodist Hospital.

In 1997 Amren, a clinical professor, was awarded the Gold-Headed Cane Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University’s Department of Pediatrics. He served for eight years as president of the Park Nicollet Foundation, and as an oral examiner for 15 of his 29 years with the American Board of Pediatrics. "Don was always a man of superior ability, but he never flaunted it," says classmate Dr. John Lester ’54. "He has upheld the highest standards in his practice, his research and his teaching, making him my definition of the great physician."