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A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943

R.I.P. Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., J.D. – Valiant Champion of Medical Freedom

Today we have some very difficult news to share.

Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD, a longtime member of the AAPS family, a true heroine of American medicine, and valiant defender of the patient-physician relationship, passed away last night. She was the model of what physicians should strive to be, both in and out of the exam room. Please extend your prayers to her husband Dan, who was frequently by her side helping throughout her many endeavors, as he grieves the sudden loss of his wife.

Dr. Singleton was a brilliant writer, engaging podcaster, generous friend, and trusted advisor. She inspired many with her remarkably unique talents as both an accomplished physician and a top-notch attorney, all from highest-ranking programs including residencies at UCSF (surgery) and Harvard (anesthesia). Marilyn set an exceptionally high standard of achievement that others can only strive toward. 

Dr. Singleton served AAPS in numerous capacities over the last decade, including President and member of the board of directors. She was also a prolific author of AAPS op-eds, feature articles in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, and analysis of healthcare-related legislation. 

Presciently, in a June 2019 President’s letter titled, “Can We Trust the Government with Our Medical Care?,” Dr. Singleton, quoting Daniel Webster, wrote: 

“Good intentions will always be pleaded, for every assumption of power; but they cannot justify it…. It is hardly too strong to say, that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intention, real or pretended.” Given the government’s track record, even the most jaded bureaucrat cannot justify such betrayals of patients’ rights and the public trust.

In recent years, she conducted numerous interviews with physician leaders in her America Out Loud Pulse podcast. She also served as a visiting fellow of Do No Harm, in which capacity she was interviewed by Tucker Carlson and was published in the Washington Post explaining the dangers of “implicit bias” training in medicine.

She was also a current member of the board of the American Health Legal Foundation and volunteer behind the scenes in guiding, reviewing, and contributing her expertise to our legal initiatives.

Dr. Singleton (center) with husband Dan Brown (standing to her right) and Hillsdale President Larry Arnn (seated at left) at AAPS 75th Annual Meeting in October 2018

President during our 75th year, Dr. Singleton came up with the theme for our anniversary commemorations, “Great Physicians, Like Diamonds, Are Forever.”  That sentiment embodies no one better than herself. 

In the following clip from her welcome address at our 75th annual meeting, Dr. Singleton honors physicians who served as mentors to her (she was a third-generation physician) and shares thoughts on the role physicians must serve as pillars of society.  

We were blessed to have known and worked with Marilyn, who was also unforgettably charming on a personal level. She leaves us with a legacy of her work that is unparalleled in her commitment to ethical medicine and law.

Marilyn courageously led during our times of crisis, and we are forever grateful for her untiring commitment to medical excellence for patients. We will carry forward her work for the benefit of future generations of medical students and patients, as we know she would want us to do. 

Thank you, Marilyn, you are missed but will never be forgotten. We are confident that you are continuing to care for others in the better place to which you have departed.

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