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Thomas Clark Chalmers, MD, FACP (b. (1917-12-08)December 8, 1917, New York City – d. (1995-12-27)December 27, 1995, Lebanon, New Hampshire) was famous for his role in the development of the randomized controlled trial and meta-analysis in medical research.[1][2][3]

Thomas C. Chalmers
Thomas C. Chalmers.jpg
Born(1917-12-08)December 8, 1917
Died(1995-12-27)December 27, 1995
EducationColumbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
OccupationPhysician, professor
EmployerMount Sinai School of Medicine
Known forResearch into randomized controlled trial and meta-analysis methodology in medical research
TitlePresident, Dean
Spouse(s)Frances Talcott
ChildrenThomas C. Chalmers; Richard M. Chalmers; Elizabeth Chalmers Wright; Frances Talcott Chalmers-Smith

Chalmers began his higher education as an English major at Yale College. He obtained his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1943. He spent one year as an intern at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and completed his residency at the Boston City Hospital.[1][4]

Chalmers' interest in medical research began while working for the United States Army in Japan, where he conducted clinical trials investigating the treatment of hepatitis among Korean War soldiers. After returning to the United States, he spent 13 years as chief of medical services at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Boston. He also held academic positions at Tufts University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. From 1968 to 1973 he held a number of appointments in Washington, DC: assistant director at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, followed by concurrent positions as associate director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Director of the NIH Clinical Center.[1][4]

From 1973 to 1983 he was President and Dean of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM).[5] While at MSSM, he established the Department of Geriatrics (the first in the United States), and, following his commitment to the application of the scientific method and biostatistics to medical practice he established the Department of Biostatistics.[6]

After leaving Mount Sinai, he became Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire.[1]

Chalmers was president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (1959) and president of the American Gastroenterological Association (1969). In 1981, he was awarded the Jacobi Medallion by the Mount Sinai Alumni "for distinguished achievement in the field of medicine or extraordinary service to the Hospital, the School, or the Alumni."[7]

His papers were donated to the National Library of Medicine by the Thomas C. Chalmers Centre for Systematic Reviews.[8] Since 1994 the Thomas C Chalmers MD award has been presented annually at the Cochrane Colloquium for the presentation which best addresses methodological issues related to systematic reviews and demonstrates originality of thought, high quality science, relevance for the advancement of the science of systematic reviews, and clarity of presentation. [9]


  1. ^ a b c d Fein, Esther B. (1995-12-29). "Dr. Thomas C. Chalmers, a President of Mt. Sinai, Dies at 78". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  2. ^ Huth, EJ (April 1, 1996). "A tribute to Thomas C. Chalmers". Annals of Internal Medicine. 124 (7): 696. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-124-7-199604010-00022.
  3. ^ "Chalmers, former CC director, dies Dec. 20". Clinical Center News. Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health. January–February 1996. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  4. ^ a b "Finding Aid to the Thomas C. Chalmers Papers, 1927–1995". Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program. History of Medicine Division, United States National Library of Medicine. May 2004. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
  5. ^ "History of Mount Sinai School of Medicine: The Chalmers Years, 1973–1983". The Mount Sinai Medical Center. Archived from the original on 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
  6. ^ "Thomas C Chalmers – in memoriam". P & S. College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University. 16 (3). 1996.
  7. ^ "The Jacobi Medallion". The Mount Sinai Alumni.
  8. ^ "Thomas C. Chalmers Papers 1927–1995". National Library of Medicine.
  9. ^ "Thomas C. Chalmers Award". Cochrane Colloquium. Retrieved 3 February 2016.

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