Martin A. Samuels, Class of 1967

If you wanted to go all in on relieving the suffering caused by diseases of the nervous system, what would you do? Well, you would start by developing your own skills in the art and science of clinical work and diagnosis. Then you would train generations of new clinicians at an influential school like, say, Harvard, where you would win outstanding teacher awards. You would found a department of neurology at a world- class hospital like, say, Brigham and Women’s, and develop it into one of the world’s largest centers of basic, translational, and clinical research with more than forty million dollars in annual support. You would write textbooks, including Samuels’s Neurological Therapeutics, that become required reading for most physicians. You would found an electronic journal to keep practitioners up to date with new advances, and would produce a range of training videos. You would eventually be invited to speak at conferences worldwide. You would break new ground, perhaps by studying how neurology and internal medicine intersect, especially how neurogenic cardiac disease comes about and can be prevented. You would explore publicly the ethics of this work, and even talk openly about how important it is for doctors to learn from their mistakes. And if you somehow managed to do all of these things you would be Doctor Martin A. Samuels. In recognition of your distinguished achievement in neuroscience, Williams College is proud to honor you with its Bicentennial Medal.