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Psychiatrist, Educator Gordon Deckert Dies

Longtime OU College of Medicine faculty member, department chair and psychiatrist Gordon H. Deckert, M.D., died June 10 in Virginia.

Deckert served as professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences from 1969 to 1986, and he was David Ross Boyd Professor Emeritus. Deckert had a passion for education; his Human Behavior class remains one of the most remembered courses among physicians who studied at the OU College of Medicine.

Deckert served as a member and past president of the Oklahoma State Board of Health. Under his leadership, the first “State of the State’s Health” report was published in 1996 and continues to this day. His scholarly interests included adult psychology, brain/behavior relationships, communication, evaluation of professional competence, group organization, psychosomatic medicine, the process of medical education, the therapeutic sequence, the integration of a disease-oriented, patient-centered, population-based health system, public health policy and global health.

He was awarded the prestigious Stanton L. Young Master Teacher award and many other honors for excellence, including the Regents Award in 1971 and the Edgar W. Young Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. In 1997, the OU College of Medicine Alumni Association named him Academic Physician of the Year.

Until the late 1990s, Deckert maintained an active clinical private practice. He continued a busy speaking schedule, nationally and internationally, and was the commencement speaker for many colleges of medicine. He served as chief of staff for what was then called University Hospital and Clinics, was a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Psychiatrists, and a founding member of the Association of Academic Psychiatry.

Born in South Dakota, Deckert’s family moved to New Mexico during his high school years, where he met and married his wife, Jane. They have two married sons and five grandchildren. Deckert graduated from the medical school at Northwestern University, where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and Sigma Xi. Following an internship in Chicago, he was a Fellow in Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. After a tour in the Air Force, he stayed in Oklahoma for training in psychiatry and then joined the faculty.