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Remembering William Droegemueller, MD


The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) received the sad news recently that William Droegemueller, MD, passed away at his home in Colorado on April 15, 2021. Dr. Droegemueller served on ABOG’s Board of Directors from 1986 to 1988. He also served ABOG as its Director of Evaluation from 1989 through 2007. 

Dr. Droegemueller introduced many innovations and advances to the certification processes at ABOG.  He organized the assessments to increase the consistency and reliability of the oral certification examinations.  He developed creative techniques to write questions for the examinations.  He also modernized operations and integrated psychometric principles into the development and analyses of the certification examinations.  He recruited and mentored a generation of volunteer examiners and examination developers.  His dedication to these vital processes guided the certification of a generation of OB GYN specialists and subspecialists across the country. 

As former chair of the UNC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in the 1980s and 1990s, Dr. Droegemueller is credited with growing the department substantially, particularly in the areas of subspecialty care, research, and training. Highlights of his chairmanship include opening the UNC Women’s and Children’s Hospital and establishment of the UNC Horizons perinatal substance abuse program.

Dr. Droegemueller graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1956 and attended medical school at the University of Colorado, earning his degree in 1960. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists selected him as the recipient of the 1999 Distinguished Service Award, and in 2000, he was awarded the title of Distinguished Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado Medical School. He was a leader of various national organizations, including a tenure as president of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society (AGOS). 

In addition to many accomplishments in academia and his numerous achievements while serving various OB GYN organizations like AGOS, Dr. Droegemueller was also an accomplished writer. He co-wrote the textbook Comprehensive Gynecology which is currently in its seventh edition, and he was an editor of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

ABOG extends its condolences to Dr. Droegemueller’s wife, Marlene, his children, and grandchildren, who mourn the loss of a man and physician who was so admired by family, friends, and colleagues alike.