John F. “Jack” McDermott, MD, a leading international figure in child psychiatry, died on December 6, 2015, just six days before his 86th birthday.
McDermott was emeritus professor and founding chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the UH medical school, and received the profession’s highest honors for expanding the understanding of social and cultural influences on child and adolescent mental health and treatment, and for advancing the standards of psychiatric practice.
“Jack’s contributions to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the specialty are unmistakable,” said AACAP President Gregory K. Fritz, MD. “He was an exceptional leader, mentor, teacher and friend.”
McDermott built the first psychiatry training programs in Hawai’i, recruiting and training record numbers of Native Hawaiian and ethnically diverse doctors to serve Hawai‘i’s people, earning him lifelong respect and widespread affection.
His commitment to developing indigenous models of practice went beyond Hawai‘i. Chairing the Child Psychiatry Section of the World Psychiatric Association for over a decade, he introduced Child Psychiatry to Indonesia in the early '70s, starting a collaboration between the University of Hawai‘i and University of Indonesia that continues today.
Make a gift to JABSOM’s endowed professorship in psychiatry, honoring McDermott, Char and Andrade.