Don Detmer

Don Eugene Detmer
FACSM (emer.), FAAN (hon.), FAAPA (hon.)

University Professor of Health Policy Emeritus and 
Professor of Medical Education

School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville

About Don Detmer

Don Detmer has spent his career fostering health and health care innovation. Currently, he is university professor emeritus of health policy and professor of medical education, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia; visiting professor, Centre for Health Informatics and Multi-professional Education, University College London, and director, AMIA Advanced Inter-professional Informatics Certification.

As the first president and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association, he led the effort for a new medical subspecialty of clinical informatics offered by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Other AMIA educational innovations then included the Academic Forum and its 10x10 courses. Detmer also served as the inaugural Gillings professor of health management at Cambridge University, where he was consulted by the British Parliament to review its national health information technology strategy, assisted the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong with its HIT infrastructure and led the European “Informed Patient Project.” Earlier, while chair of the USA National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), Detmer created its national health information infrastructure work group that envisioned secure integrated electronic health records for medical care and public health as well as personal use, including national coordination. Detmer also chaired the Institute of Medicine board on health care services for eight years and was liaison to the To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm reports. He chaired the reports The Computer-based Patient Record: An essential technology for health care. More recently, he was on the IOM HIT/Safety Committee, the Department of Homeland Security health study, and the NRC committee on strategies and priorities for information Technology at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

He previously served as vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah and the University of Virginia. Detmer founded the Blue Ridge Academic Health Group and served as its chair. As a surgical resident at Duke University, he was instrumental in fostering ambulatory surgery. At Wisconsin, he founded the first master’s program for administrative medicine in the United States. As a vascular and sports medicine surgeon, he has contributed to the diagnosis and treatment of chronic compartment and medial tibial stress syndromes.

Areas of Expertise

  • Health policy, especially national health information policy
  • Biomedical and health informatics
  • Administrative medicine
  • Health professions education
  • General and vascular surgery
  • Sports medicine 


University of Kansas

MA - Public Health
Cambridge University


  • Surgery residency: Johns Hopkins, National Institutes of Health, Duke
  • Institute of Medicine, health policy fellow
  • Health systems management student, Harvard University


American College of Surgeons, fellow
American College of Sports Medicine, fellow (emeritus)
American College of Medical Informatics, fellow
American Association for the Advancement of Science, fellow
American Academy of Nursing, honorary fellow
American Academy of Physicians Assistants, honorary fellow
Clare Hall, Cambridge University, lifetime fellow