John B. Youmans

(1893-1979)

John Youmans

John B. Youmans (1893-1979) was a physician, teacher, researcher, and author. Dr. Youmans had a special interest in nutritional disorders, and his work served as a model for larger nutritional surveys throughout the world.

John Youmans

A native of Mukwonago, Wisconsin, John B. Youmans received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin and his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1919.

Dr. Youmans taught at Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan before coming to Vanderbilt as Associate Professor of Medicine in 1927. He remained at Vanderbilt until 1946, when he assumed the position of Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He returned to Vanderbilt as Dean, Professor of Medicine, and Director of Medical Affairs from 1950-1958.

Soon after his arrival at Vanderbilt in the late 1920's, Dr. Youmans established his reputation as a superb clinician and teacher. He had a special interest in nutritional disorders and in the 1930's he designed and initiated new classical epidemiologic studies of the nutritional status of population groups. In these studies he obtained dietary records and made physical examinations, including x-rays and laboratory measurements of urinary thiamin and blood levels of vitamins A, C, and protein.

Dr. Youmans' study of the nutritional status of a rural population in Wilson County, TN served as a model for what subsequently evolved as the methodological design of the 43 international surveys sponsored by the US Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense (ICNND), the Ten-State Surveys in the U.S. and the HANES Surveys in the U.S. John Youmans' contributions in nutrition were recognized by the AMA with its Goldberger Award in Clinical Nutrition and the Conrad A. Elvehjem Award by the American Institute of Nutrition, and with the Groedel Medal of the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Youmans life-long hobby was training and riding horses. He was a daring and skilled equestrian. Dr. Youmans died at age 85 in 1979.

The Eskind Library also has a collection of Dr. Youman's personal papers. For more information, please consult the Inventory of the John B. Youmans Papers.

John Youmans