William Woodard McLendon, M.D.

October 29, 1930 – June 8, 2024

William Woodard “Bill” McLendon, MD (image credit: UNC)

NCMS Life member Dr. William Woodard “Bill” McLendon died Saturday, June 8th.
He was 93 years old.



William Woodard “Bill” McLendon, MD, age 93, of Chapel Hill, NC, died June 8, 2024 after a short illness.

McLendon entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an undergraduate in 1948. After his sophomore year he attended the Harvard College summer school in Cambridge. During his senior premed year, he was a student research assistant in the coagulation research laboratory of Kenneth M. Brinkhous, MD, who remained his mentor for many years. This medical laboratory experience inspired a career-long interest in the rapidly progressing new medical specialty of laboratory medicine, which uses the advances in basic medical sciences, automation, and computerization to provide physicians with timely and accurate diagnostic and therapeutic information for the care of their patients.

He was on the medical staff at the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, Greensboro, NC, from 1963-73, where he established one of the first automated and computerized clinical laboratories in the country.

In 1973, UNC Medical Dean Christopher Fordham recruited him back to Chapel Hill, where he served as Professor of Pathology and Director of the Division of Laboratory Medicine in the UNC School of Medicine and as Director of the Hospital Laboratories at UNC Hospitals. After consolidating the various clinical laboratories into one hospital department, his group in 1984 implemented the hospital’s first computerized clinical information system, which was an earlier version of today’s comprehensive electronic medical records system.

Dr. McLendon joined the NCMS in 1963.

The North Carolina Medical Society extends its deepest condolences.

Read Dr. McLendon’s full obituary here.