One of the 'greats':Colleagues, friends pay tribute to the late A. Bernard Ackerman, M.D.

Feb 01, 2009, 5:00am

National report - Dermatology has lost an icon.

Key Points

National report - Dermatology has lost an icon.

Dr. Ackerman died Dec. 5, 2008, of heart failure at his Manhattan home at the age of 72. He was director emeritus of the Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology in New York.

He previously served as director of dermatopathology at the University of Miami School of Medicine; director of dermatopathology at New York University School of Medicine; and director of the Institute for Dermatopathology at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.

Those who remember him recall the man they describe as "larger than life" and "a giant" in his field.

'Important thinker'

"Through hundreds of articles, dozens of books and thousands of lectures, he made dermatopathology come alive for medical students, residents, fellows and colleagues."

"His method of analyzing inflammatory skin disease by pattern analysis is routinely used by most practitioners. He (also) elevated medical publishing to an art form, authoring books that were a pleasure to look at and read - the opposite of many of the bone-dry tomes that predated them," he says.

"Bernie was a superb teacher who inspired several generations, leaving a legacy of hundreds of trainees on every civilized continent.

"Even in his 'retirement,' he remained a major force in medical malpractice reform, and continued to tackle sociopolitical issues that affected dermatology and pathology. He will be greatly missed," Dr. LeBoit says.