Dr. Richard and Ellen Caplan Medical Student Scholarship
Named for Dr. and Mrs. Richard M. Caplan, this scholarship will provide annual awards to a University of Iowa medical student. After earning a B.S. degree in psychology from Iowa State University, then known as Iowa State College, Dr. Caplan became a UI alumnus (1951 M.A., music; 1955 M.D.) and returned to join the UI faculty in 1961, remaining at Iowa for 36 years, until he retired in 1997. His clinical discipline was dermatology, in which he rose to the rank of professor in 1969, and he served as interim department head for 18 months, from 1976 to 1977. In 1969, he also joined the dean’s staff and served, for 21 years, as the half-time associate dean for Continuing Medical Education (CME). He served nationally as vice-president of the American Dermatological Association. He also was active, for many years, in the accreditation of medical college CME programs, and he served as president of the Society for Medical College Directors of CME.
In 1970, Dr. Caplan began the Medical Education/Community Orientation program for post-freshman students and was long active in educational work with the Iowa Medical Society and the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care. His many publications and activities brought important honors, including the UI Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, the UI Brody Award for Faculty Service, the Ben Whitaker Educator Award, and the Iowa Family Practice Educator-of-the-Year Award. In 1984, Dr. Caplan founded the Program in Medical Ethics and Medical Humanities and continued to teach in that arena even after retirement, focusing especially on the interface of literature and medicine. He and Mrs. Caplan established the Carol A. Bowman contest for medical student creative writing in 1993 as a successor to a similar contest Dr. Caplan had started six years earlier in the medical student newspaper, Vital Signs. His breadth of interest and activities are reflected in this statement in Iowa Medicine (1990): “Some refer to medicine as a science, but the practice of medicine is not; it is a healing art based on scientific principles and knowledge.”
Ellen Caplan earned a B.A. degree in history (1952) and an M.A. degree in library science (1969), both from the UI. She served as a librarian at Iowa City’s West High School for 23 years. Natives of Des Moines, the Caplans are graduates of East High School and have four sons, all of whom are teachers in widely diverse fields. Dr. and Mrs. Caplan recognize the importance of assisting the next generation of physicians, and are likewise interested in the well-being of The University of Iowa. Their philanthropic spirit is expressed in this comment at the 50th-anniversary celebration of The University of Iowa Foundation: “We enjoyed the University; we enjoyed what we learned; and we learned from faculty members whom we respected.”
Congratulations on receiving the Dr. Richard and Ellen Caplan Medical Student Scholarship