Biographical Sketch of Herbert L. Fred, MD, MACP

Herbert L. Fred, MD, MACP, is Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice Institute in Houston in 1950, Dr. Fred received his MD degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1954. He completed his internship and residency training at The University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals in Salt Lake City. After two years in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to the University of Utah as chief medical resident and then became an instructor in medicine there. In 1962, he joined the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. During his seven years at Baylor, he was named the outstanding full-time clinical faculty teacher by the senior classes of 1964 and 1965. And in 1967, the seniors at Baylor dedicated their annual, the Aesculapian, to him.

In July 1969, Dr. Fred accepted the position of Director of Medical Education at St. Joseph Hospital, Houston, and in 1971 became a full professor of internal medicine at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Between 1974 and 1979, the interns and residents at both The University of Texas Medical School and St. Joseph Hospital gave him a yearly award for "Excellence in Teaching." Each year from 1990 to 1999, he received the "Dean's Excellence Award," and in 1999, he received the prestigious Benjy F. Brooks, MD Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award from the Alumni Association of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Throughout his teaching career, Dr. Fred has been a visiting professor of medicine at numerous hospitals and medical schools. From Denmark to Italy to Switzerland to China to Canada and throughout the United States of America, he has presented numerous original papers at international, national, regional, and local medical symposiums and conferences.

An emeritus member of the American Osler Society, Dr. Fred has served as editor-in-chief of Houston Medicine and as a member of the editorial boards of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Annals of Sports Medicine, Resident & Staff Physician, and Circulation. The author of 459 publications and counting — including chapters in three major medical textbooks and in three other medical books — Dr. Fred won a Certificate of Appreciation from the American Medical Writers Association in 1994 for "outstanding contributions as a medical writer and journal editor." He has written five books and one novel.  Three of his books are a provocative collection of essays — providing philosophic insights into disease, the practice of medicine, the challenge of difficult diagnosis and treatment, the joys, frustrations, and rewards of teaching, the pleasurable pain of learning, and the exhilaration of true scholarship.

His fourth book, co-authored with Hendrik A. van Dijk, is available from Rice University Press.  It is titled, “Images of Memorable Cases: 50 Years at the Bedside”, and involves 154 patients, all but a few of whom Dr. Fred personally has seen during his professional career.  The images — some rare, many extraordinary, but every one instructive — are presented non-thematically and as unknowns. From the material provided — limited at times to the image(s) alone — informed readers should be able to make or strongly suspect the correct diagnosis.  To find the answer and a pertinent commentary, the reader need only turn the page.  This book was nominated for the National Book Award.

Dr. Fred served as chair of the board of trustees of Houston's HCA Medical Center Hospital from 1994 to 1995, and is a past president of the Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism. Houston City Magazine selected him as one of Houston's "84 most interesting people in 1984," and in 1988, Houston mayor Kathy Whitmire honored him by designating October 7, 1988, as Dr. Herbert L. Fred Day. In that same year, then-President Ronald Reagan issued Dr. Fred a Presidential Commendation in recognition of his 27 years as a medical educator in Houston.

Dr. Fred was named  The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine Distinguished Teacher for 2004.  That same year, he  received his Mastership in The American College of Physicians. In May, 2005, Dr. Fred won the newly created TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award

On February 18, 2006, Dr. Fred received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Waco, Texas, Independent School District Education Foundation.  Four days later, at The University of Texas Medical School in Houston, The John P. McGovern, MD, Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit presented a film created by medical students entitled, “A Special Tribute to Herbert L. Fred, MD.”  In May, 2007, Dr. Fred received The Federation of State Medical Boards Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing.  In November, 2012, the Texas Chapter of The American College of Physicians gave him The Laureate Award for his abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, and community service.  And on March 15, 2013, the Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, granted him a Certificate of Recognition as an exemplary mentor in the positive development of junior colleagues in the profession.

In 1966, well before the current craze for physical fitness, Dr. Fred became interested in developing a strong body as well as a strong mind. Consequently, he began to run. Starting with a win in a two-mile cross-country race, he quickly graduated to marathons and then to ultramarathons (100-kilometer, 100-mile, and 24-hour races). From 1980 to 1983, he set a number of national age and age-group records for ultradistances, including a 100-mile run in 17 hours, 2 minutes, 3 seconds at the age of 53. Three years later, he was still setting national age records in 24-hour track runs. He has kept a log of his daily runs, which, as of November 30, 2014, total 251,091 miles. His interest in sports medicine led to his appointment in 1979 as adjunct professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education at his alma mater, Rice University.