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(Kansas & Merton 1959) (19 July 1937 - 7 May 2017)

A native of Kansas, Ontjes attended medical school at Harvard, following a Rhodes Scholarship. He completed residency training at Boston City Hospital and a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, before joining the UNC School of Medicine faculty in 1969.

Stuart Bondurant, MD, former UNC School of Medicine Dean, recruited Ontjes to Chapel Hill.

“David Ontjes was a thoughtful and considerate man and an outstanding clinician, investigator and teacher. He guided the department of medicine and helped to guide the medical center to its current outstanding state,” Bondurant said.

A Distinguished Professor and former Medicine Chair, Dr. Ontjes encouraged and vigorously supported collaborations within the School of Medicine, leaving behind a legacy of contributions.

“Dr. David Ontjes embodied the spirit of collegiality that is the hallmark of our institution,” said Department of Medicine Chairman Dr. Ron Falk.

To recognize these contributions to the Department of Medicine, an intern is annually selected to receive the Ontjes Resident Award. Criteria include excellence in research and academics as well as outstanding service to others. At the recent 2017 Residents Award Ceremony, four residents were acknowledged for their performance and qualities that best exemplify the legacy of Dr. Ontjes.

“Dr. Ontjes participated in the education of countless medical students, residents and fellows,” said Andrew Greganti, MD. “He also recruited and helped mentor many faculty members. I know that he would say his involvement in the professional and personal development of physicians was a highlight of his career.”

The legacy of Dr. Ontjes is also celebrated throughout the year with the Ontjes Resident as Teacher lectures on effective teaching methods, lifelong learning, and other topics related to medical education. These lectures are made possible by a fund that was endowed by Dr. Ontjes.