The Middleton House is one of five Houses that comprise the Neighborhood at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Middleton House advisor: Dr. Christopher Hildebrand
William S. Middleton, MD
Following the death of William Shainline Middleton, MD, a UW School of Medicine and Public Health memorial committee characterized the man and his career with a fitting tribute:
"... His influence will be felt for generations to come. He had an admirable, full, happy, and useful life that covered a span of an active medical career twice or thrice that of most physicians. A more meticulous man with greater gentleness one has not met ... He was inspiration personified ..."
Middleton earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1911. After an internship at Philadelphia General Hospital, he joined the UW medical school faculty in 1912, progressing to dean in 1935. Middleton spent 63 years on the Wisconsin faculty, including 20 years as dean.
Highly decorated for his service in World Wars I and II, he was distinguished in his academic life as well. Middleton won the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania in 1945 and the UW Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1969 and 1972. He received honorary degrees from several universities and contributed more than 300 scholarly papers related to internal medicine, medical education and medical history.
Middleton's determined spirit extended beyond the world of medicine. He was highly competitive in tennis and handball, and for years - until he was 81 - he swam in Lake Mendota early each summer morning. Once a year, he walked around the same lake.
In 1955, Middleton left the medical school to head the Veterans' Administration in Washington, DC, where he served until 1963. Middleton helped develop the VA's hospital and clinic research programs, and his work led to improved access for veterans to rehabilitation services and mental health and hypertension treatment.
In 1976, a year after Middleton's death at age 85, the U.S. Senate renamed Madison's Veterans Hospital the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital - a rare honor considering that, at the time, only six veterans hospitals were named for individuals. The Senate Veterans Committee report called Middleton "one of the greatest teachers of medicine this country has ever developed."