Monday, May 26, 2003


Dr. Milton Rosenbaum a trailblazer

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

After Milton Rosenbaum's mother died when he was a teenager, the Cincinnati native decided to dedicate his life to medicine.

His research and work in psychoanalysis led him to teach psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati and to start a program at Cincinnati General Hospital (now University Hospital) in which Alcoholics Anonymous worked with psychiatric patients with substance abuse problems.

Dr. Rosenbaum and his colleagues were among the first to study psychosomatic origins of disease.

And during his career in Cincinnati, he helped end the practice of segregating hospital patients at Cincinnati General by race.

"He basically desegregated the wards, starting in the department of psychiatry, then they did it throughout the whole hospital," said his son, Michael Rosenbaum of Larchmont, N.Y.

The nationally known psychiatrist died May 18 at his home in Albuquerque, N.M. He was 92.

Born in 1910, Dr. Rosenbaum earned bachelor's and medical degrees from UC in the 1930s. He interned at Cincinnati General, then completed postgraduate residency in neurology and psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He taught at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Rosenbaum, who was one of the early American Freudian psychoanalysts, returned to his hometown in 1939 to teach psychiatry at UC. He and Jean, his wife for more than 50 years, raised their children in Avondale. She died about six years ago.

Dr. Rosenbaum left Cincinnati in 1955 to start the psychiatry department at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y. He wrote academic papers until this year.

"He was always allowing people in his department to try new things," his son said. "He was very supportive of individual physicians."

Dr. Rosenbaum earned the American College of Psychiatry's Lifetime Distinguished Fellow award in 2000 and was elected by the American Psychiatric Association as a Distinguished Life Fellow in January.

The night before he died, UC's College of Medicine gave him the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

His family will remember his curiosity, kindness and generosity. Dr. Rosenbaum set up several small foundations for teaching future doctors.

"If friends of his wanted to do things for him, he would say don't give it to me, give it to these foundations to train future physicians," his son said.

In addition to his son Michael, the doctor is survived by daughters Elizabeth Magnes of Brooklyn and Mary Dwan of Eugene, Ore.; a sister, Bernice Schneider of Cincinnati; 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Memorial services have been held.


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