William K. Hamilton
43BA, 46MD, 51R

Achievement 1996

William K. Hamilton, 43BA, 46MD, 51R, has had a distinguished medical career, leading anesthesiology departments at both the University of Iowa and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to the highest echelon in the country, where they have been noted for an extraordinary balance of excellence in research, patient care, and education.

After his residency in Iowa City, Hamilton became a clinical instructor in anesthesia at the UI College of Medicine. He moved rapidly through the ranks and served as professor and chairman of the anesthesia department from 1958 to 1967. Hamilton then moved to UCSF, where he served as professor and chairman for the department of anesthesia for 16 years. In 1983, he was named vice dean and associate dean for clinical affairs. For several years throughout this period, Hamilton also served as associate dean for postdoctoral education. Since 1992, he has been professor emeritus at UCSF.

Hamilton has served on numerous committees for the UCSF School of Medicine and its university hospital. In addition, he was director of the American board of Anesthesiology from 1962 to 1974 and president of that board from 1973 to 1974. He also served on the American board of Medical Specialties and its executive committee, the Association of American Medical Colleges Task Force on Support of Medical Education, as well as three National Institutes of Health study sections.

Hamilton has been a member of many professional societies, such as the American Medical Association, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, and the Association of University Anesthetists. He was a delegate from the San Francisco Medical Society to the California Medical Association and the Royal College of Anesthetists of England and Australia. He has assumed numerous leadership positions in many of these organizations. Hamilton also served as associate editor of two medical publications, Contemporary Surgery and Survey of Anesthesiology.

Hamilton's lectureships and consultative services for universities throughout the world, as well as his numerous publications, have made him a well-known and highly respected member of the anesthesiology and medical professions. He has been recognized with many honors and awards. He received the teaching award from 1965 UI senior medical class, the Royal Society of Medicine Medal, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists Distinguished Service Award, to name just a few. In addition, a distinguished professorship in anesthesia has been established in his name at UCSF.

Hamilton and his wife, Shyrlee Cole Hamilton, 46GN, are members of the Alumni Association's Directors' Club and the Foundation's Presidents Club.