Dr. Lawrence L. Weed M.D.
1923 - 2017
BORN
1923
DIED
2017
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Stephen C. Gregory and Son Cremation Service
472 Meadowland Drive, Suite 7
South Burlington, VT
Dr. Lawrence L. Weed, M.D.

Age: 93

Dr. Lawrence L. (Larry) Weed, passed away at his home in Underhill, VT on June 3. Age 93, he was Professor of Medicine Emeritus, Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont.

Dr. Weed was born in Troy, New York on December 26, 1923 to Ralph E. Weed and Bertha Krause Weed. After attending high school in Middletown, NY, he graduated from Hamilton College (Clinton, NY) in 1943, with a major in Chemistry and a minor in History. He received an M.D. degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1947. He then took mixed internships in medicine, chest medicine, surgery and clinical pathology from 1947-1949 at University Hospital in Cleveland and Bellevue Hospital in New York City. During his internship in Cleveland, he met his future wife, a fellow intern, Laura Brooks, who had graduated from Yale Medical School in 1947. They married in 1952.

After his internships, Dr. Weed left clinical medicine to do basic science research in biochemistry and microbial genetics for four years at Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Army Medical Service Graduate School (Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC). This experience with the rigor of scientific research, and its contrast with medical practice, shaped his subsequent career in clinical medicine and education.

Dr. Weed next did a residency in medicine for a year at Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD. He then returned to basic science as a member of the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, where he was Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine and conducted research in microbial genetics for two years. During that period he received an offer from the Eastern Maine General Hospital in Bangor, ME, where he was asked to serve as the Director of Medical Education overseeing intern and resident staff. His dean at Yale advised against his taking this position outside of academia, because the move could derail his very promising career in basic science research at Yale. Nevertheless, he decided to move to Bangor, where he worked from 1956 to 1960. During this period, the began the work for which he later became best known: developing standards of data organization in medical records (these standards, including problem lists and "SOAP notes," became known as the problem-oriented medical record or POMR).

In 1960, Dr. Weed moved to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH, where he resumed basic science research as a post-doctoral fellow in microbiology and became an Assistant Professor of Microbiology in 1961. In 1964, while continuing in his faculty position at Case Western Reserve, he became Director of the Outpatient Clinics at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital. There he resumed his work on medical record standards and began a federally-funded effort to develop a computerized health record based on the POMR. During this period he published a highly influential two-part article, "Medical Records That Guide and Teach," in the New England Journal of Medicine (1968), followed by the first of his five books, Medical Records, Medical Education and Patient Care (Case Western Reserve University Press, 1969).

In 1969, Dr. Weed moved to the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, VT, where he became a Professor of Community Medicine and directed the PROMIS Laboratory, which continued his federally-funded effort to develop the POMR in electronic form. In 1981, he left the PROMIS Laboratory and then established a company, PKC Corp., to develop software tools for coupling patient data with medical knowledge. Known as problem-knowledge couplers, these tools were intended for use by both clinicians and patients in conjunction with the POMR in electronic form (a prototype of which PKC also developed).

Beginning in the late 1960s and continuing to last year, Dr. Weed spoke and published widely in the U.S. and abroad about standards and tools for managing clinical information and related reforms in medical practice, medical education, and licensure of clinical practitioners. He also served as a consultant to various offices within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense military health system; PKC Corp. also became a contractor to the military health system. He left PKC in 2006 but continued to speak and publish. He received a number of awards, including the 1995 Gustav O. Lienhard Award for Advancement of Health Care, from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Articles about him and his work include a profile in The Economist magazine (December 2005).

The ultimate impact of Dr. Weed's concepts remains to be seen. Fragments of Dr. Weed's work are in widespread use, but his larger body of work is not yet well understood. Dr. Weed's visionary concepts are now informing the strategic planning of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) of the National Institutes of Health. The NLM has expressed its agreement with Dr. Weed's understanding that unaided human cognition is insufficient to meet the challenges of disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment in an era of explosive growth of new knowledge.

To the end of his life Dr. Weed enjoyed ongoing relationships, some dating back more than 60 years, with former students, colleagues and others. He was a compelling presence in the lives of many.

In addition to his medical activities, Dr. Weed was a lifelong pianist and devotee of classical music. During his Cleveland years, he sang in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw, who became a friend.

Dr. Weed was predeceased by his wife, Dr. Laura Brooks Weed (1923-1997), who herself became a distinguished clinician and, among many other positions, was a faculty member at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He is survived by his sister (Nancy Weed of West Haverstraw, NY), five children (Christopher Weed of Burlington, VT, Lincoln Weed of Underhill, VT, Dinny Weed Adamson of Charlotte, VT, Jonathan Weed of Eddington, ME, and Becky Weed of Belgrade, MT), two grandchildren (Julia Stever Weed of Seattle, WA and Kristen McLellan Weed of Eddington, ME), and two step-grandchildren (Karen Tyler of Burlington, VT and Erica Tyler Ghosh of Hopkinton, MA).

His children are planning a memorial concert, scheduled for September 17, 2017 (4 PM) at the Charlotte Congregational Church, 403 Church Hill Rd, Charlotte, VT 05445. Memorial contributions may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446. Dr. Weed's children are also planning a website for posting of publications, testimonials and further dialogue by his former students, colleagues and others interested in his work.

Dr. Weed's children wish to express their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Joe Haddock, who served as an intern under Dr. Weed in 1972-1973 and who became his personal physician and close friend until the end of his life.

Visit burlingtonfreepress.com/obituaries to Express condolences and sign the guest book.



Published by The Burlington Free Press on Jun. 14, 2017.
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20 Entries
Thank you for visiting North Dakota , UND Med School , in early 80’s to present on rational thinking about the problem oriented method ( SOAP ) , and the ‘question everything’ philosophy to patient care.....eg. , if the patient is drinking by mouth you can stop that expensive IV fluid........I tried to serve my patients thereafter with these principles , and you were the eye opening jump-start!
Timothy Nelms
Student
February 3, 2021
Rest endlessly in peace, I learned too much from his works, thank you very much, medical world will be grateful for ever.
January 14, 2020
His Ideas will live on
I am sad learn of Dr Weeds passing. He was someone I have looked up to in my years of Clinical Informatics. His Ideas have inspired so many to push for a framework that healthcare systems desperately need on order to provide patient care. His candid conversations in the talks he has given so many years back, ring true today and undoubtedly will tomorrow. His ideas and passion will remain active in my work to improve healthcare systems.
My deepest sympathy to Dr Weeds Family.

Vivian Boudhaouia
October 14, 2017
Dear Dinny and Family,
My sincere condolences to everyone on your Dad's passing. I held him in very great esteem. It was an honor, privilege, and a highlight of my professional career to be a member of his PROMIS Lab in the seventies and early eighties and to get to know your wonderful Mom and many of you as well. Your Dad stood for everything good in health care education, training, and delivery and was unwavering in his efforts to share his new paradigm with the world. I was blessed to be part of all of it. Unfortunately, the world wasn't ready for his wisdom then and still doesn't seem to be all these years later, although progress has been made in some areas. We can only hope that at some point his ideas will finally be understood, accepted and brought to fruition for the benefit of all of society. I'm sorry I can't attend the service you have planned for him in September. I will certainly be there in spirit. May the memories of your Dad's contributions and good work always be an inspiration to you and yours. Brian
Brian Ellinoy
July 23, 2017
Fond memories of struggling with that first EMR!
'80
Cathleen Doane-Wilson
June 30, 2017
Julie McGowan
Friend
June 25, 2017
Larry was my friend and my mentor. He was the first to organize the patient encounter and arguably provided the foundation for the field of biomedical informatics. He was a genius and a visionary about future medical care. While passionate about his ideas he was also a humble physician and a true Renaissance man. His contributions will long be remembered but he will be missed very deeply by those of us who had the pleasure of knowing him. My thoughts are with Lincoln, Chris and the rest of the family.
Julie McGowan
June 25, 2017
To all those who personally knew Dr. Weed, I offer my condolences to them. As a person with a chronic disease, I appreciate very much the influence he had on documentation. This became my career as well in health information management. Dr. Weed's influence and impact on my daily life is there every day through the legacy he left through his life's work. Ironically it seems I have lived, worked at or somehow followed the various life's stops he made throughout the US but Vermont. May he RIP & may those who loved him have peace in their memories of him and in the lives of those who are grateful for his passage through this life. Jennifer Loughrey
June 23, 2017
In 1962 while a chief resident of Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Hospital I invited Dr. Weed to travel to Charlottesville to explain the Problem Oriented Medical Record, that system being introduced to us. At the grand rounds he received two standing ovations, a somewhat unusual reaction. His ideas were important in developing my approach to taking care of patients, and I will always be grateful for his insights. Ewell Scott, MD, FACP Case WRU '66
Ewell Scott
June 22, 2017
As a student I had the privilege of watching him audit charts on the wards at UVM with his famous red pen. He defined "sound analytic sense" and precision medical record keeping before anyone else. As a senior I spent time on a medicine ward which used the computer version of the POMR for the first time. I also did an elective month at the Given Internal Medicine outpatient clinic where his principles where put into practice and where Dr. Laura Weed practiced. For more than 40 years I have tried to practice what he preached and to convey to generations of medical students a reverence for "thoroughness, efficiency, reliability and sound analytic sense" in caring for patients. His name will be revered as long as there are physicians who share his concern about improving the process of caring effectively for those who need our help.
JAMES GALLAGHER, MD
Student
June 19, 2017
With deepest sorrow for the passing of an amazing man and brilliant physician!
Geri Amori
June 19, 2017
I had just finished medical school the month before when I read Larry's April 1981 New England Journal of Medicine op-ed piece on how unreliable memory-based doctors were. I was crushed but I knew he was right. I wrote to him and, of course, he wrote back. That led to my young family of three spending a month in 1984 living in a garage apartment nearby Larry and Laura's home in Underhill. Under his tutelage, I wrote Coupler No. 8. He was clearly the most profound influence in my career. I am dismayed at how little progress medicine has made in the last 30 years toward supporting physician memory and thinking with facts and logical data collected with the help of a computer. What he envisioned 40 years ago is really difficult to achieve but it is still the right thing to do -- now as it was then. When I get discouraged, I think of Larry walking backward up the hill on the road in front of his home and I am filled with admiration, respect, a little rebelliousness, and a renewed commitment to the patient.
Richard Gibson
June 16, 2017
I knew Dr Weed from working for several years at PKC Corp. I will always remember his sharp wit, kindness, keen intellect, and over-riding personal mission to improve medical care for both patients and providers. I feel privileged to have known him.
Louise Sivak
June 15, 2017
My deepest condolences to the Weed family. Your father was a gifted visionary - a titan of medicine decades ahead of his time. Most importantly, he was an honest man, who did not fear to speak his truth. What greater dignity, integrity and love of humanity can there be?

It behooves us to work together to preserve Dr. Weed's work, and to bring his beautiful vision to fruition.

It is with a very heavy heart that I say good bye.

Ali Rafik Shukor
Ali Shukor
June 15, 2017
I came along at the UVM college of medicine after he was there, but the basis for my understanding of medicine and caring for patients is rooted in the problem-oriented medical record that he pioneered. I'm sorry to hear of his passing and wish his family the best.
Mary Cushman
June 15, 2017
I had the pleasure of helping to write a module at PKC while Dr Weed was involved. He was light years ahead of his time and an inspiration to all of us. Cate Nicholas
Cate Nicholas
June 15, 2017
To Chris and the rest of the Weed family:

It was a great honor of mine to have been able to work with Larry for 12 years and to be able to observe his brilliance. Whether I agreed with him on particular issues or not, his perspective was refreshing and unique, and he always had the patient at the center of everything he did.

Blessings on the Weed family as you celebrate the life of this American legend.

Regards, Bill Delaney
June 15, 2017
It was my profound honor to know Dr. Weed. I spent many early mornings learning from him on a mulititude of subjects. And despite his obvious superior knowledge and experience, he always made me feel equal to his conversational challenges. I will always cherish the time I got to share with Larry.
George Mathias
June 14, 2017
Dear Chris and other family members. I am really sorry for the passing of your dad. As I have expressed to you, Larry has been a pivotal influence in my life as I try to deliver the best medical care possible. His organizing principles of the POMR have been hard-wired into my brain, imprinted there as a result of his mentorship while a UVM medical student in the late 1970's. I have always enjoyed chatting with Larry over the years and I have expressed my appreciation for his vision on many occasions. I will miss Larry, but I will never forget him.
Dennis Plante
June 14, 2017
My heartfelt condolences go out to the whole family, as well as to all who knew Larry Weed and grieve his passing. I was privileged to meet Larry and Laura Weed, and to work for many years for their daughter, who remains my friend. What a profound legacy they both have left us!
June M. Schulte
June 13, 2017
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