Intrigued by medicine from a formative age, Dr. William F. McCormick decided to become a doctor at the age of 12. After receiving his MD in 1955, he completed an internship, thus prompting his interest in neuropathology. At the inception of his career in 1960, he joined the University of Tennessee as an instructor and was subsequently promoted to assistant professor the same year. During his assistant professorship, he served as a deputy chief medical examiner in the state of Tennessee between 1961 and 1963, a special fellow and instructor in neuropathology at Columbia University from 1961 to 1962, and an executive committee member in basic medical sciences at the University of Tennessee from 1963 to 1964. For the following four years, he served as an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where he later became a full professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery until departing in 1973.
Between 1973 and 1989, Dr. McCormick served the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as a professor of pathology, neurosurgery and neurology and a clinical professor of pathology. Concurrent to these roles, he was also an assistant chief medical examiner for the state of Tennessee from 1985 to 1987 and a professor of pathology and neuropathology within the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University – a position he held between 1985 and 1998. He was also head of forensic pathology from 1989 to 1995 and again in 2009, and has held the title of professor emeritus since 2006. Dr. McCormick was promoted to deputy chief medical examiner for the state of Tennessee in 1987, fulfilling the post until his retirement in 2010.
Post-retirement, Dr. McCormick excelled as a consultant in neuropathology and forensic pathology, in which he offered testimony at trials in cases of nervous system injury and disease, resigning from his roles in 2015. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee, having previously lent his expertise as a visiting professor to the University of Pittsburgh and University of Virginia. Throughout his illustrious career, he has exemplified unparalleled expertise in neuropathology, forensic pathology, brain trauma and infectious disease.
A prolific writer as well, Dr. McCormick has published more than 140 articles in scientific journals, contributed approximately 14 chapters to books, and given more than 90 presentations and lectures in his industry. He co-authored the books “Increased Intracranial Pressure in Children” in 1972, with a second edition in 1978, as well as the second edition of “Neurologic Infections in Children” in 1981 and “Syllabus of Neuropathology” in 1973. Likewise, he is the author of “Atlas of Cerebrovascular Disease” and “Neuropathic Case Studies,” both in 1976, and sat on the editorial board of Focus on Neurology and Neurosurgery from 1979 to 1981. He also served on the publication advisory board of the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology from 1984 to 1986, among other publishing works.
To attest to his success, Dr. McCormick received a research grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation in 1984 and was recognized as a Milton Helpern memorial lecturer in 1985. Subsequently, he was recognized as the first George Perret memorial lecturer by the University of Iowa in 1990, having also been honored with the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology the same year.