The award is given annually to a YCC member who has impacted the field of oncology both nationally and internationally. David Fischer, MD, has been involved with Yale School of Medicine for nearly 60 years. He was the first medical oncologist in the New Haven community and remained in private practice for thirty years. He was recruited by Dr. Vincent DeVita in 1994 to serve on the Yale Cancer Committee as a three-day-a-week volunteer. He has chaired or co-chaired the Cancer Committee for Yale Cancer Center/Yale New Haven Hospital since 1996. He was Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine 1967-75, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine 1975-1981 and Clinical Professor of Medicine 1981 to the present. He has published 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
In 1967, Dr. Fischer went into private oncology practice to serve cancer patients in the New Haven area. He introduced the controversial practice of offering to tell his cancer patients the truth about their diagnosis if they wanted to know their diagnosis and he obtained written informed consent forms on all patients given cancer chemotherapy, not just those given experimental drugs. In 1972, he was part of a committee to establish The Connecticut Hospice and in 1974, it was started as a homecare service and he served on the medical board. That same year he received the Ben Harris award for house staff teaching at Yale. In 1980, Dr. Fischer helped The Connecticut Hospice become a licensed inpatient facility in Branford that also served as the base of an expanding homecare service. He ultimately became the medical advisor of the committee that supervised its growth.