Congratulations, Jim Boulger!

Recipient of a 2017 Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education

About the Award

DTA Logo 350x274The Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award recognizes excellence in contributing directly and indirectly to student learning through teaching, research, and creative activities; advising; academic program development; and educational leadership.

Jim Boulger received this award at the Distinguished Teaching Awards ceremony on April 27, 2017.

Each year, the Alumni Association is proud to join the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost in supporting the Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize the outstanding work of U of M educators. Recipients of the awards are inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

About Jim Boulger

  • Professor
  • Department of Biobehavioral Health and Population Sciences
  • Medical School Duluth, University of Minnesota

Nothing slows Jim Boulger down. After 40 years serving as a teacher, mentor, acting dean, head of his department, and in numerous other capacities, “Dr. Boulger relishes each new opportunity to support the mission of serving the health care needs of rural Minnesota and American Indian communities,” says one medical student. “He is a constant reminder that becoming a physician is an honor.”

His lectures to students of social and behavioral medicine “were not just a one-sided monologue, but instead a lively and interactive discussion of the issues,” says another student.

Boulger has given medical students priceless opportunities to learn side-by-side with practitioners in rural family medicine, where they confront not only medical issues, but nonmedical ones such as access to health care, which concern rural residents in general and American Indians in particular. The program he founded became the Rural Medical Scholars Program.

In 2003 his achievements brought him the National Rural Health Association’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year award, and in 2014 the state Department of Health and Minnesota Rural Health Association honored him with the Rural Health Hero award. Largely through him, the Duluth campus has shown the nation how to produce primary care doctors eager and equipped to practice in rural areas. As a colleague put it, without him, “the University of Minnesota Medical School would not be in national rankings where it is today.”

“Each of our graduates begins their student life as a learner who wishes to better her or his world through honest study, work, creative approaches to problem solving, and the elimination of the horrifying inequities that we witness daily.”

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