“I was a history major who never thought of medical school. For five years after graduation, I worked as a paralegal, a patient advocate at a free health care clinic, on an assembly line in a jam, jelly and fruitcake factory and even tried to get into the carpenter's union before becoming a welfare case worker, which is what led me, at last, to health care. I decided I could make a difference, so I went back to school to become a physical therapist but a friend told me I'd have a hard time taking orders from a doctor. So I decided to go to medical school!”
Benjamin L. Cardin
“WORLD-CLASS RESEARCHER, ACTIVIST AND ADVOCATE...”
"I believe I am luckier than most women because I am doing things I passionately believe in and care about," says Linda Fried. "As a researcher and leader, I have been able to merge my vocation with my avocation. It is extremely creative, like being an artist!"
No wonder Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD-3) called Fried "the quintessential health care professional using her superior medical skills for the common good to improve the quality of life for so many" in nominating her to be a Local Legend of Medicine.
Among other things, this "outstanding researcher, committed activist for improving health care, and effective advocate for women in medicine" (Rep. Cardin, again) is a board-certified internist and geriatrician, with postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in geriatrics, general internal medicine and epidemiology (cardiovascular and aging). Her core research interests are prevention and health promotion for older adults, with particular emphasis on the discovery of the causes of frailty and disability and their prevention. She has published numerous articles on the topic, and both clinical and population-based strategies for prevention for older adults.
She received her M.D. from Rush Medical College and M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. She was named a Kaiser Faculty Scholar in General Internal Medicine, and is the recipient of a National Institute on Aging MERIT Award, as well as numerous awards for her research accomplishments and her mentoring.
A member of the Institute of Medicine, she is Director of the Center on Aging and Health, and the Director of the Training Program in Clinical and Population-based Research on Aging and of the Epidemiology of Aging Course in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Policy at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Fried belongs to numerous professional societies concerned with health for an aging society, including the American Geriatrics Society, and is a co-founder of Experience Corps which she says, "helps improve academic outcomes for elementary school children while simultaneously promoting the health of older adults." Started in 1995, Experience Corps is based on an idea by John Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and founder of Common Cause, who wanted to create a new institution that would mobilize the time, talent, and experience of older Americans to revitalize their communities. Experience Corps has grown from a five-city pilot project to include more than 1,000 volunteers in 13 cities across the country.
Gifted with seemingly boundless energy, Fried is passionate about medicine and dedicated to making a difference in peoples' lives, Fried advises young girls interested in medicine that "life is difficult no matter what you do, but that's no basis to make decisions on."
"Chance favors the prepared mind. So prepare yourselves!" Fried exclaims.
Appointed faculty physician, Preventive Cardiology Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Becomes Director, Geriatric Assessment Center and Functional Status Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Co-founds Experience Corps, a program which mobilizes the time, talent, and experience of adults age 55 or older in service to Baltimore and 12 other communities across the country
Appointed Professor, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Becomes Director, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University
Rush Medical College, Chicago