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J. Donald Woodruff Chair in Gynecology and Obstetrics

School of Medicine

Established in 1993 by colleagues and friends of J. Donald Woodruff in his honor

WoodruffDonaldJ. DONALD WOODRUFF, MD,¬†was a world-renowned surgeon and professor of gynecologic pathology and gynecology/obstetrics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1933 from Dickinson College, where he was a member of Phi Betta Kappa, his medical degree from Johns Hopkins in 1937 and completed his residency in gynecology at Johns Hopkins in 1942.

He served as chief of urology during World War II with the 56th General Hospital, the first general hospital to land in Normandy after the D-Day invasion. He was discharged at war’s end with the rank of major.

Dr. Woodruff served as president of the Continental Gynecological Society, the Maryland Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, the International Society for the Study of Vulvar Disease, the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association, and the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He was awarded honorary professorships by the University of Tucamen, Argentina; the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; and the University of Munster, Germany. Dr. Woodruff’s publications include Novak’s Gynecologic and Obstetric Pathology; The Fallopian Tube; chapters in 27 textbooks relating to his specialty; plus 258 original papers.

During his 58-year association with Hopkins, Dr. Woodruff made significant contributions to gynecologic pathology, influenced a generation of residents and provided skillful care to thousands of patients. Widely considered to be the father of gynecologic pathology as a discipline, he pioneered the use of the microscope to advance the diagnosis of diseases. Before his death in 1996 at the age of 84, the university recognized Dr. Woodruff’s many achievements by naming a lecture hall in his honor.