(May 2017) John R. Sharp, MD, a gastroenterologist and Coloradan born in Del Norte, has received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The school’s Medical Alumni Association presents the Distinguished Service Award to an alumnus who has provided outstanding service to the Medical Alumni Association and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Sharp graduated in 1967.
In addition to a remarkable medical career, Dr. Sharp has worked tirelessly to leave a robust legacy on half of his medical class through the School of Medicine Class of 1967 Endowment. His tenacious fundraising efforts with his classmates over the past 10 years will lead to more than $1 million dollars for the School of Medicine.
In addition to his leadership in the Class of 1967 Endowment Fund’s fundraising efforts, Dr. Sharp has been a dedicated annual donor in support of the School of Medicine. Further, he and his wife Pat designated a significant provision in their estate plan in support of the endowment.
Dr. Sharp has invited his classmates to join him by making their own legacy gift. He has also served as the class “ex-officio” secretary for more than 20 years.
As to his medical accomplishments, Dr. Sharp showed exceptional promise early on. He graduated at the top of his class, earning the Gold Headed-Cane award for demonstrating promise as an outstanding physician of internal medicine.
After an internship in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Sharp came back to Colorado for his residency in internal medicine, then completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. From there he served for 22 years in the United States Air Force.
During his service in the military, Dr. Sharp rose from flight surgeon to a Commander/Chief Officer of two military hospitals, to Deputy Command Surgeon, to the Surgeon General for Air Training Command, to director of Professional Services at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex.
He declined a promotion to Brigadier General to move into the civilian sector of health care.
Dr. Sharp advanced the understating and practice of gastroenterology in many ways, including developing a methodology for and performing the first esophageal variceal sclerotherapy. He also has published dozens of articles and abstracts in his field.