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Heritage Snapshot: 179

By Richard Schaefer
Community Writer
05/24/2023 at 04:31 PM

Edwin T.  Wright, MD, was born on October 25, 1922 in Ione, Washington. He graduated from La Sierra College in 1943 and the Loma Linda College of Medical Evangelists as a member of the Class of 1947. He received his MD degree after one year of internship at the Los Angeles County General Hospital on July 1, 1947. Dr. Wright took his residency in Dermatology and Syphilology at the Wadsworth Veterans Administration Hospital—UCLA between 1950 and 1953. Between 1954 and 1976 he held academic appointments at the University of California at Los Angeles. 

By 1955 Dr. Wright had become the Chief of the Dermatology Section and Director of Training in Dermatology and Syphilology for the Wadsworth VA Hospital in Los Angeles. For 16 years he was Chief of Staff at two California veterans’ hospitals: the Wadsworth VA Hospital, from 1972 to 1976, and the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center, from 1976 to 1988. From 1974 to 1982 he chaired the Council of Chiefs of Staff for District #26, Department of Medicine and Surgery, Veterans Administration. 

In 1976, when Dr. Wright became Chief of Staff at the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center, he also joined the faculty of Loma Linda University School of Medicine as Professor of Dermatology and Professor of Pathology. In 1979, he became Assistant dean of the School of Medicine for Veterans Affairs, and in 1982 chaired the Research Committee for the Faculty Senate. 

Over the years Dr. Wright held numerous professional offices.

  1. Chair, Committee on Histopathology, Pacific Dermatologic Association, 1964.
  2. Assistant Secretary, Los Angeles Dermatologic Society, 1962 to 1963.
  3. Secretary-Treasurer, Los Angeles Dermatologic Society, 1963 to 1964.
  4. President, Los Angeles Dermatologic Society, 1964 to 1965.
  5. Technical Chair, Biomedical Division of the American Society for Quality Control, 1974 to 1975.
  6. Chair, Planning Board of District #26, department of Medicine and Surgery, Veterans Administration Central Office, 1982 to 1983.
  7. President, Inland Counties Dermatologic Society, 1982 to 1984.
  8. Chair California Medical Association Advisory Panel on Dermatology, 1984 to 1990. Co-Editor, Epitomes of Progress, California Medical Association Advisory Panel on Dermatology, 1982 to 1984. 
  9. Member, Scientific Board, California Medical Association, 1984 to 1990.
  10. Member, Task Force Committee for Continuing Education, National Program for Dermatology, 1972.

Dr. Wright also held non-academic appointments, first as a consultant and then medical director of Max Factor & Company, from 1965 to 1977, and Surgeon-General for Veterans of Foreign Wars from 1985 to 1986 and from 1989 to 1990. He also became a fellow or member of twelve professional societies. Dr. Wright and his wife Margaret had two sons. He now cherishes the fact that Loma Linda University School of Medicine has named him Emeritus Professor, Department of Medicine. 

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