Interview with William E. Jacott

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Interview with William E. Jacott

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University of Minnesota


Oral History


Dr. William Jacott begins part one of his interview by describing his educational experiences at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC), his interest in medicine, and his early career. Dr. Jacott then reflects on his time in private practice; the establishment of the Medical School at the UMD; his growing role at the UMD Medical School; the Family Practice Program at UMTC; orienting student education and training toward family practice; relations between the UMD Medical School and other schools and hospitals; and his work with the State Legislature. Reflecting on his time as assistant vice president for the health sciences at UMTC, Dr. Jacott discusses the following: community outreach; his work as administrator in charge of Use of Animals in Research; setting up affiliation agreements for the professional schools in the health sciences; the role of nurse practitioners in family practice; his work with the various vice presidents of the Academic Health Center; and the threatened closure of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dental School. Jacott begins part two of his interview by describing his experience with the Antilymphocyte Globulin litigation, the creation of the University Health System, the sale of University Hospital to Fairview, and the closure of the University Family Practice Program. He then discusses Ed Ciriacy’s chairmanship of the Department of Family Practice and Community Health and his own chairmanship of the Department. The conversation then turns toward a discussion of Dr. Jacott’s national leadership roles. He discusses his work for the American Medical Association as chairman of the Council on Medical Education and a member of the Board and his time on the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, the Federation of State Medical Boards, and the Joint Commission Board of Commissioners. Dr. Jacott concludes the interview with his views on combining the position of Medical School dean and vice president of the AHC.


William Jacott was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota. He earned his bachelor’s degree in speech with a minor in political science from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He attended Medical School at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, earning his M.D. in 1964. Dr. Jacott then completed an internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth and subsequently entered general practice at Lakeside Medical Center in 1965. In 1974, Dr. Jacott became part of the newly created Medical School at the University of Minnesota Duluth as head of Family Medicine and director of the Duluth Family Practice residency. In 1978, Dr. Jacott returned to Lakeside Medical Center and private practice full time. Jacott’s practice merged with the Duluth Clinic in 1980 and became the first family medicine group within the Clinic. Dr. Jacott became head of family medicine at the Duluth Clinic. In 1987, he was recruited to be assistant vice president for the health sciences at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He left this position but stayed on at the University, becoming interim and then permanent chair of the Department of Family Practice and Community Health in 1995. Over the course of his career, he held many prominent leadership positions in professional organizations, including his tenure on the Board of the American Medical Association. Dr. Jacott retired in 2004.

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Tobbell, Dominique A.; Jacott, William E.. (2013). Interview with William E. Jacott. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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