John W. Downing, Jr., M.D., FAAP, FACC

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Dr. John W. Downing, Jr., Phenix Class of 1953 was the recipient of a four-year Ford Foundation College Scholarship, is a 1957 honors graduate of Morehouse College with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Meharry Medical College in 1981, finishing in the top third of his class.  Following a medical internship at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., he completed his pediatric residency at Freedmen’s Hospital (Howard University). After serving as a pediatrician at the U.S. Army Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany from 1964-67, he completed a three-year fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. In 1970, he was recruited to the faculty at Howard University College of Medicine as an Assistant Professor. By 1980, he had achieved the rank of tenured Full Professor. During his time there, he served as Director of Pediatric Clerkship, Director of Pediatric Residency Program and from 1986-1994, he was Professor & Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health and Chairman of the Department of Pediatric at Howard University Hospital.. He retired in 2001.

Dr. Downing is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He is a member of the of the American Academy of Pediatrics and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Sigma Xi Research. He was the lead author on the book “Pediatric Cardiology Case Studies” that was used by several pediatric training programs. In the community, Dr. Downing has served as chair of the High School Heart Research Committee and the Professional Education Committee of the American Heart Association/Nations Capital Affiliate. He is an active member of the Gideons International, having served as president of the Washington, D.C. Camp. Married to Bessie M. Downing, FBA, MARS, they are the parents of two grown children.     

Copyright 2016, George P. Phenix High School.