Director of the Institute of Medicine since 1985, Samuel 0. Thier has succeeded in increasing both its budget and its public profile. In doing so, the Brooklyn native has been able to draw upon his experience as an academic physician and administrator.

A Cornell University graduate, Thier received his MD degree from the State University of New York at Syracuse in 1960. He went to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston as an intern and eventually became chief of its renal unit, while also joining the Harvard University Medical School faculty. In 1969 he moved to the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, where he also was associate director of medical services at the university hospital.

Thier moved to the Yale University School of Medicine in 1975 as chairman of the department of internal medicine. Three years later, he also was named chief of medicine at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. Thier, whose...

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