George A. Dean, M.D., ’56, is considered one of the founders of the family medicine specialty. Together with his colleagues, Dr. Dean helped to establish the American Board of Family Medicine in 1969. He then played an instrumental role in establishing family medicine departments at the WSU School of Medicine, University of Michigan Health System and Michigan State University, among several others.
Dr. Dean is a charter member of the American Board of Family Practice. He is the former president of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians and the former vice president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Among his numerous accolades, Dr. Dean was named Michigan’s Family Physician of the Year in 1985. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2002. He was the 2006 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, which also gave him the Archie Award of Excellence in 2007.
Dr. Dean and his wife Vivian are generous philanthropists and avid collectors of fine art and historic chess sets. Over a half century together, the Deans’ have accumulated more than 1,000 antique and exquisitely designed chess sets, including the world’s only Faberge chess set. Their collection is regarded as one of the world’s foremost private collections. Dr. Dean is a founder and President Emeritus of Chess Collectors International. In 2010 Dr. Dean co-authored Chess Masterpieces: One Thousand Years of Extraordinary Chess Sets with Maxine Brady. The Dean’s art collection includes a number of impressionist, post-World War II and contemporary art works, of which several paintings were featured in a 2011 exhibit at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
Today, Dr. Dean works in private practice in Southfield, MI as well as serving as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the School of Medicine, a position he has maintained since the 1960s. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.