Welcome to the Lindenbaum-Thompson Society

In 1928, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, now known as Columbia University Medical Center, became the world's first academic medical center. Since then we have had a long and rich tradition in training physicians of color. Today our department has the highest number of faculty members from underrepresented minority groups in the country!

As such, we are committed to increasing the diversity of our residency program by actively recruiting and supporting residents from under-represented minority groups. Our diverse housestaff, faculty, and patient population ensure a comprehensive and enriching learning experience for all of our houseofficers.

Throughout the year, LTS sponsors programs and events to include mentoring, community projects, recruitment, and social functions that support the academic, social, cultural and spiritual needs of our houseofficers and faculty.

We hope that you will find the information presented on our website valuable in helping you make decisions about your future career in medicine, and that you will consider continuing your education at Columbia University Medical Center

Donald W. Landry, MD
Hamilton Southworth Professor of Medicine
Chair, Department of Medicine
Physician-in-Chief, NYP/Columbia University Irving Medical Center


Founded in 1997 by African-American and Latino house officers, the Lindenbaum-Thomson Society (LTS) was named in honor of Drs. John Lindenbaum and Gerald Thomson for their efforts in promoting academic excellence and diversity in medicine. In the original mission statement, the founding residents expressed their commitment to ensure the recruitment, retention and development of minority house staff and to provide a supportive academic and social environment in which to help minority residents realize their full potential. Though a resident driven organization, the members looked for support within the residency program, and from faculty, CUMC alumni, as well as from organizations and groups outside of the residency.

Prior to 1997, there were less formal efforts to organize amongst minority house staff. Hhowever, in the spring of that year Dr. John Lindenbaum, Professor and past Chairman of medicine passed away and inspired the formalization of the organization. Dr. Lindenbaum was a truly beloved clinician, teacher and mentor. As a clinical investigator, he earned renown for vitamin B-12 and folate metabolism studies, and his research benefited patients with sickle cell anemia, vitamin B-12 deficiency, and heart disease. Dr. Lindenbaum was also committed to producing highly trained, well-respected and compassionate minority physicians. Prior to his death, he established a fund to bring minority leaders in the field of medicine to CUMC.

Dr. Thomson's name was also selected for the organization for his longstanding commitment to the recruitment of minority physicians and for his contributions to minority health. Dr. Thomson was recruited to Columbia in 1970 to head the new renal division at Harlem Hospital. He was Director of Medicine at Harlem Hospital from 1971 to 1985. He then returned to Presbyterian Hospital to become Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President for Professional Affairs in 1985. In 1990, he was Associate Dean. Dr. Thomson has served and led numerous local and national organizations. He is co-founder and past President of the New York Society of Nephrology and a founder and past President of the Association of Academic Minority Physicians. Dr. Thomson served several years on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine and was the first African-American to serve as its Chairman from 1991 to 1992. He was also the first African American to serve as President of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Thomson remains very involved with the minority house staff acting as ward attending during the year, and as faculty advisor for the LTS society.

Our Mission Statement:

-Minority faculty and house staff recruitment

-Mentoring and networking for minority house staff

-Cross-cultural education

-Community outreach

“In deciding on a residency, one of the first things that attracted me to CPMC, besides the opportunity for well-balanced, superior training, was the vast diversity of its physicians, not just in the Department of Medicine but throughout the hospital. CPMC has a rich and storied history throughout the 20th century of training physicians of color, including Dr. Charles Drew in 1940. Today Columbia University ’s College of Physicians and Surgeons can boast having the most faculty members from underrepresented minority group of any medical school in the United States, and you appreciate this feat as soon as you enter the medical center. It’s one of many reasons I enjoyed my residency here and why I stayed on as faculty. Interacting with surgeons, neurologists, and gynecologists of color, to name a few, (senior attendings no less) on a daily basis, along with my own colleagues in medicine has been a true, and relatively unique, privilege. It underscores the necessity of having a house staff and faculty that reflects the patient population that we serve, which here in Washington Heights, is predominantly Black and Latino. This rare combination has translated into an incredibly intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding experience for me.”

Will Turner, MD

Cosponsored by The Lindenbaum-Thomson Society, The Division of General Medicine, Office of Student Affairs, and Office of Multicultural Affairs of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, the LTS Visiting Minority Clerkship is a one month clerkship for qualified fourth year minority medical students interested in a career in Internal Medicine. Students will rotate on an inpatient hospitalist unit where students will be assigned a faculty advisor and throughtout the month will have formal and informal opportunities to interact with faculty, housestaff, and students of color.Living expenses and housing, where applicable, will be provided by the University and the usual application fee for a visiting clerkship will be waived.

Interested students should address inquiries to:
William Turner, MD at wt62@columbia.edu for more information and application materials.

Lindenbaum Professorship

To honor the memory of Dr. John Lindenbaum each year the Department of Medicine invites a prominent minority physician to be a Lindenbaum Visiting Professor at Columbia University Medical Center. Over two days, the Lindenbaum Professorship includes opportunities for the department’s leadership to meet with the honoree and the minority faculty. The honoree also meets with housestaff, fellows, and students, often leading morning report and joining attending rounds. One of the highlights of the visit is when the visiting Professor gives Medical Grand Rounds.



Membership Organizations

Student National Medical Association


The National Boricua Latino Health Organization (NBLHO)


National Medical Association


National Hispanic Medical Association


The Columbia Center for the Health of Urban Minorities (CHUM)


National Hisp Medical Association


Minority Health Policy

Cultural Competence Resources- Yale Medical Library


Healthy People 2010 On-Line Publications


Aging Internet Information Notes: Cultural and Racial Diversity and Aging


National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities


Tutorials: Race, Ethnicity and Health Care Reference Libraries, Race, Ethnicity, and Health Care. The Basics Immigrants: Coverage & Access to Care


Care of underserved, cultural competency, health disparities


Health disparities (cases)


Health disparities report


Community Resources

Washington Heights and Inwood Resource Directory


Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation


Washington Heights Community Service website


Community Voices – Health care for the underserved


University Resources

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons: Office of Minority Affairs


Please Contact Dr. William Turner for Any Questions: wt62@columbia.edu