Medical School: Harvard Medical School
Residency: Montefiore Medical Center (Family Medicine)
Public Health: Columbia University (Epidemiology)
I was attracted to Einstein/Montefiore for my residency training because of its reputation and history as both a leading academic medical center and an institution committed to social justice and improving the health of urban, underserved populations. The concept of ‘social medicine’ embodied for me the synthesis of what had led me to medicine in the first place: a combination of healing, service, and an emphasis on the social context and conditions that largely determine health and disease.
After training, in 1984 I became medical director of Montefiore’s Substance Abuse Treatment Program, and was confronted by the impact of the emerging AIDS epidemic on our patient population and community. Working closely with colleagues in multiple departments, we became involved in developing clinical programs and services to meet the complex needs of our patients, as well as collaborating on major research studies of HIV/AIDS, its clinical manifestations, and behaviors related to transmission, risk, and prevention. (See selected publications below.)
I left Einstein/Montefiore in 1992 to join the AIDS Program at Yale School of Medicine, where I was the director of outpatient HIV services, but over time felt the pull of the social medicine mission drawing me back to the Bronx. I returned to the Bronx in 1999 to become chair of the department of family and social medicine, and to help create a palliative care program, which had increasingly become one of my major interests. I am proud of all that we have accomplished over the past years, including significant growth in the department and its diverse programs, and the establishment of the palliative care service on all three Montefiore campuses. I deeply value the environment, the people, and the unique mission and synergies of Einstein/Montefiore, and I am honored to be part of our department, with its dedicated faculty and staff, and its wide array of clinical, educational, research, and communitybased programs. I remain actively involved in direct clinical care and teaching in the areas of palliative care and HIV/AIDS, I am also very interested in personal writing and narrative (my memoir about my experiences in the early AIDS epidemic, is entitled “Surviving the Fall: the Personal Journey of an AIDS Doctor). I have also been working with others to develop programs for caregivers to help people recover and heal through grief, loss, and trauma, which I believe is essential for anyone in a caring profession. I welcome contact with students and colleagues in all these areas, and I look forward to continuing this work as it evolves in interesting.