50 & Forward Weekend Speakers


Christine K. Cassel

Christine K. Cassel, MD
President & CEO, American Board of Internal Medicine & Foundation
Philadelphia, PA

Christine K. Cassel, MD, the first woman to serve as President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation, is a leading expert in geriatric medicine, medical ethics and quality of care. She was also the first woman elected Chair of the ABIM Board of Directors, the first woman named President of the American College of Physicians and one of the few women to be Department Chair and Dean of major academic medical centers.

Dr. Cassel is among 20 scientists chosen by President Obama to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). She is the co-chair and physician leader of a PCAST working group that makes recommendations to the President on issues relating to the life sciences and health information technology.

Dr. Cassel was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine in 1992, relatively early in her career. In addition to having chaired influential IOM reports on end-of-life care and public health, in 2009 she also served on the IOM's Comparative Effective Research Committee mandated by Congress to set priorities for the national CER effort. In recent years, Modern Healthcare has named Dr. Cassel to its list of top 100 most powerful people in health care in the U.S. An active scholar and lecturer, she is the author or co-author of 14 books and more than 150 journal articles on geriatric medicine, aging, bioethics and health policy. She edited four editions of Geriatric Medicine, one of the leading textbooks in the field. Her most recent book is Medicare Matters: What Geriatric Medicine Can Teach American Health Care. In the fall of 2010, Dr. Cassel was invited to a three-month sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar at the prestigious Santa Fe Institute, a multidisciplinary research center where she focused on the role of physician self-regulation within the context of complex adaptive systems.

A national leader in efforts to inspire quality care, Dr. Cassel is a member of the Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System, and served on the IOM committees that wrote the influential reports To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm. She was appointed by President Clinton to the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry in 1997.

Dr. Cassel is also respected as a scientific leader, having served on the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director, 1995 – 2002, and as President of the American Federation for Aging Research. She is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In addition to being a former dean of the School of Medicine Oregon Health and Science University, Dr. Cassel has also served as Chair of the Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and Chief of General Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Cassel, board certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine, actively participates in Maintenance of Certification and other efforts to advance professionalism in the public interest. The recipient of numerous international awards and honorary degrees, including one from Jefferson University Medical School, Dr. Cassel is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Medicine of the U.K. and Canada, the European Federation of Internal Medicine, and is a Master of the American College of Physicians.