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Richard Carmichael Tilghman

Richard Carmichael Tilghman


Tilghman, a longtime internist and associate dean of the medical faculty at Johns Hopkins, was born in Centreville, Maryland. He graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1925 and earned his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1932. He completed a three-year residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a one-year fellowship at Harvard’s Thorndike Memorial Laboratory before returning to Baltimore in 1936 as an instructor and chief resident of the Osler Medical Service at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In 1937, Tilghman entered private medical practice and continued teaching medical students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was also a medical consultant with the department of obstetrics at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a visiting physician at Union Memorial Hospital, Hospital for Women of Maryland (later Greater Baltimore Medical Center), and Church Home and Hospital.

In 1942, he enlisted in the Johns Hopkins Hospital unit of the U.S. Army, the 18th General Hospital, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel by his 1945 discharge from military service. He was the official historian for the unit and documented the hospital’s activities on 16mm film.  He also wrote a book, L.O.D.-Yes: An Odyssey of the Army’s 18th General Hospital.

Following the war, Tilghman returned to Baltimore to re-establish his private practice and eventually assumed new duties with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He served as associate dean of the medical faculty, director of University Health Services, and editor of The Johns Hopkins Medical Journal.  He retired from the university in 1970 as associate professor emeritus.

Tilghman was a member of many professional societies and assumed executive positions in such organizations as The American College of Physicians, Baltimore City Medical Society, the American Clinical and Climatological Association, and the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association. He was the recipient of many awards, including the Alfred Stengel Memorial Award from The American College of Physicians, the Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Johns Hopkins University Medical Alumni Service Award. He also served for many years as a master of ceremonies at the popular annual Turtle Derby race and festival at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1969, The Johns Hopkins University dedicated the Tilghman Room in the Thomas B. Turner Auditorium in recognition of his many contributions to the university.

Sound recording: Interview with Dr. R. Carmichael Tilghman. 1978.

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