“I was one of the first women from my medical school to go into dermatology. Discovering how interesting it was--and how much I still love dermatology-- was not on the board when I started.”
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
“EXPERT DERMATOLOGIST AND STUDENT MENTOR”
Now an internationally recognized contact and occupational dermatologist, Frances Storrs came to her profession almost by chance -- and by following the example of her parents, who were family physicians in Spokane, WA.
"They set high expectations and asked only that I be self reliant. There was no pressure to be a physician, and I wasn't sure I wanted to be a doctor. But I was one of only seven women in medical school, and I decided I was going to succeed in medicine."
Succeed she did, blazing a trail as the first female resident to be accepted in the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) dermatology program. On the strength of her passion and dedication, she became a prominent member of the medical faculty and expert in her field, contact dermatitis. As a clinician she has been hailed for discovering new workplace allergens and new ways of treating contact dermatitis.
As Professor Emerita of Dermatology at OHSU, Storrs is distinguished among generations of medical students for her unwavering commitment to their education.
Nominating her as a Local Legend of Medicine, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), praised Storrs for her "dedication as a mentor and educator of medical students, dermatology residents and physicians. Her enduring allegiance to ethical behavior, her industrious challenge of what is known and her unmatched enthusiasm makes her a true Local Legend."
Among the more than 30 awards Storrs has received over her career are the American Academy of Dermatology's (AAD) Master Dermatologist Award, the OHSU Humanism in Medicine Award, the City Club of Portland's Citizen of the Year, the American Contact Dermatitis Society's Alexander Fisher Lectureship Award, and the AAD's highest honor, the Gold Medal.
In recognition of her lifetime in dermatology, including helping to found its mentorship program, the Women's Dermatology Society bestowed its most prestigious honor, the Rose Hirschler Award, on Storrs. The society's mentorship program has since become a model for similar mentorship programs in dermatology.
Widely published and a sought-after lecturer on contact dermatitis, Storrs focuses particularly on mentoring residents and students in medicine.
In addition to her countless contributions to medicine as a teacher and clinician, Storrs has been dedicated to bettering the Portland community, and has served as president of the City Club of Portland.
"I would like to be remembered for my research in allergens and my teaching and mentoring in medical school," she commented. "But mostly I'm more pleased than anything that I've been able to have a professional life that worked well with my private life. It's given me a chance to put my family first. And they remain central to my life."
Appointed Fellow in Dermatology (1968), Professor of Dermatology (1981), Professor Emerita of Dermatology (1997), Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
President, Oregon Dermatology Society
Member, American Academy of Dermatology Board of Directors (1984-1987; Executive Committee, 1985--1987)
President, American Contact Dermatitis Society
Named Citizen of the Year by City Club of Portland
Receives American Academy of Dermatology Master Dermatologist Award
Receives American Academy of Dermatology's Gold Medal (highest award)
Cornell Medical College, New York, NY