Clark T. Sawin, 70, a medical researcher, educator, author and lecturer in the fields of endocrinology and medical history and medical inspector for the Veterans Affairs' health care system in Washington, died Aug. 11 at the Washington Home hospice. He had cancer and respiratory failure.
Dr. Sawin, a Washington resident, spent most of his career in Boston and settled in the Washington area six years ago to work with the VA health care system. In that job, which he held at the time of death, he was responsible for monitoring quality of care nationwide for the VA.
His research interests were in clinical thyroid disease, focusing on treatment of hypothyroidism and aging-related changes in thyroid function. His research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, identified new risk factors associated with hyperthyroidism.
His lifelong passion, however, was the history of endocrinology. In this area, he wrote more than 80 articles and historical vignettes, and he was a regular speaker on the topic at national and international endocrinology meetings.
At his death, he was president of the American Thyroid Association and a member of the physician advisory board of the Thyroid Foundation of America. He also served on a number of national expert panels to set policy for thyroid testing and treatment of thyroid disease.
Clark Timothy Sawin, a Boston native, was a 1954 cum laude biology graduate of Brandeis University and a 1958 cum laude graduate of Tufts University's School of Medicine.
He served in the Army Medical Corps in Korea and had a U.S. Public Health Service postdoctoral research fellowship in endocrinology at the New England Medical Center Hospitals in Boston.
He was a professor of medicine at Tufts medical school since 1966 and at Boston University's medical school since 1994. He was chief of the endocrine-diabetes section at the Boston VA Medical Center from 1966 to 1998.
Dr. Sawin served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism; Thyroid; the Endocrinologist; and Endocrine Practice. He authored a textbook on endocrine physiology.
Among his honors was the 1990 Reynolds Award from the American Physiological Society for his work in the history of physiology.
His marriage to Sylvia Epstein Sawin ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Leslie Long Sawin of Washington; three children from his first marriage, Jennifer Stoddard of Silver Spring, Philip Sawin of Cincinnati and Kenneth Sawin of Edinburgh, Scotland; three sisters; a brother; and two grandchildren.