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October 16, 2009

William Sage, Law School professor and vice provost, elected to Institute of Medicine

Photo of William Sage
William M. Sage

William M. Sage, MD, JD, vice provost for health affairs and the James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Election to the IOM, one of the National Academies, is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Sage is among the sixty-five new members and five foreign associates whose elections to the IOM were announced on Monday, October 12, 2009, in conjunction with the institute’s thirty-ninth annual meeting.

New IOM members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.

“Bill Sage’s election to the Institute of Medicine is a great and a well-deserved honor,” said UT Law School Dean Larry Sager. “In the Law School, in the University, and in the community at large, Bill has been a constant and constructive force for the improvement of our understanding and our practice of delivering healthcare. 

“One important theme of the Institute is the need to bring the insights of many disciplines to bear on questions of health policy,” Sager continued. “At the Law School, Bill’s counsel has steered the George McMillan Fleming Center for Law and Innovation in Biomedicine and Healthcare toward productive collaboration with other schools and campuses. We are lucky to have the benefit of his energy, judgment, and acumen.”

The IOM advises Congress on important health questions, from the quality of medical care to conflicts of interest in medical research, from malaria treatment to environmental hazards, and from vaccine safety to childhood obesity. With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer their service on IOM committees, boards, and other activities.

A diversity of talent among IOM’s membership is assured by its charter, which stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from outside the health professions, from such fields as the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; law; engineering; and the humanities. The newly elected members raise IOM’s total active membership to 1,610.

There are only about fifteen members who are law professors, primarily health law experts. Two of them were elected this year: Sage and Professor Susan M. Wolf of the University of Minnesota Law School. Two other Texans elected this year are Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and Dr. Roberta B. Ness, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

About William M. Sage:

Before joining the UT Law faculty in 2006, Sage was professor of law at Columbia University, and has had visiting appointments at Harvard Law School and Duke University School of Law.  His edited books include Medical Malpractice and the U.S. Health Care System and Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care. Sage has written over one hundred articles in publications including JAMA, Health Affairs, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, and the law reviews of Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, Texas, and Vanderbilt.  He serves on the Fellows Council of the Hastings Center on bioethics, and is a member of the editorial board of Health Affairs.

Related links:

George McMillan Fleming Center for Law and Innovation in Biomedicine and Healthcare at the University of Texas School of Law

Institute of Medicine news release

Sage, Vice Provost and Professor, Elected to Institute of Medicine, UT news release


Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or