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Francis P. Chinard, M.D., 1918- 2015

January 20, 2015

Francis P. Chinard, M.D. 1918 - 2015

The George F. Smith Library of the Health Sciences regrets to report that Dr. Francis P. Chinard, one of Smith Library’s most devoted supporters, passed away on January 5, 2015, at age 96.

Dr. Chinard served on the faculty of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School for 38 years. He arrived in 1968 as a Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medicine (from 1968 to 1975), and he retired in 1996 as Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Research Medicine and Physiology.

During his long career, he supported the Smith Library wholeheartedly. He served as Chair of the University Faculty Committee on Libraries, Chair of the Friends of the Smith Library Committee, and was a longtime and influential member of the Smith Library Committee. He was instrumental in establishing and administering the Morris Saffron Endowment for the Study of the History of Medicine and the Morris Saffron Book Endowment, as well as Dr. William D. Sharpe’s gift to renovate the library’s Barbara Manisty Peck History of Medicine Room. The History of Medicine Room was also the forum for Dr. Chinard’s electives in the “History of Medicine” and “Current Issues in Medicine,” which he taught with Dr. William D. Sharpe for many years. 

In 2006, on his 88th birthday, the George F. Smith Library of the Health Sciences dedicated the Francis P. Chinard Humanities Collection, which includes works of history, literature, and philosophy.  The collection’s statement of intent reflects Dr. Chinard’s humanistic perspective:

“This collection is based on the recognition that medicine functions best as an interaction between a physician and a patient and less completely as an interaction between physicians and diseases. This singularity serves to distinguish medicine from other sciences - the human element cannot be ignored. For that reason, medicine has deep roots in its history and in the cultures and civilizations which have fostered its development. Medicine does not exist in a void. Without its historical and social roots, medicine would be lost as a human endeavor.”

The papers of Dr. Chinard from 1962-1997 are housed in the New Jersey Medical History Archives and Manuscript Collection. In addition, oral history interview transcripts are available to researchers in the Libraries' Department of Special Collections at the George F. Smith Library of the Health Sciences.