Saul B. Gusberg, MD

John Paul Gusdon

Saul B. Gusberg, MD, Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science died July 25, 2005. His legacy lives on through his generations of trainees, the many persons he mentored, the department he built, his scientific achievements and the journal  Gynecologic Oncology, which he introduced in 1972, serving as founding editor.

Dr. Gusberg, affectionately known as Gus to his friends and colleagues, attended the University of Michigan, defrayed expenses as a jazz violinist and before leaving for Harvard Medical School, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. There he met his beloved wife Dorothy. Following medical school, he relocated to the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York, serving under Howard C. Taylor, Jr., and ultimately moving to The Mount Sinai Medical Center where he spent the rest of his distinguished professional career.

 In 1947, Dr. Gusberg published his landmark paper on the precursor of corpus carcinoma, adenomatous hyperplasia and the relationship to estrogen.  In addition he provided a framework for the current Staging system for endometrial cancer, and published widely concerning pathophysiologic observations from which rational selection of therapeutic options for cervical cancer could be made. In recognition of his contributions to gynecologic oncology, he was elected to the Presidency of the American Cancer Society, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Pelvic Surgeons. He was a member of all of the major societies concerned with the care of women, and was consistently asked to chair committees and working groups focused on challenges and solutions in the field of gynecologic oncology.. 

He contributed more than 175 publications to the scientific literature and 2 textbooks of gynecologic oncology. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was an invited lecturer at many universities, and was the holder of several honorary degrees and honorary memberships from institutions throughout the world. Dr Gusberg was awarded the silver medal of Columbia University, the ACS National Division Award for Cancer Control and the ACS Presidential Medal for his outstanding contributions in the field of gynecologic oncology. He received the Jacobi Medallion, Mount Sinai’s most distinguished award. In 1996, loyal patients and colleagues established the SB Gusberg Distinguished Lectureship series in Gynecologic Oncology in the department which he founded at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

When asked why he wanted to publish another book, he answered “to have an impact”. He achieved that goal. He was an educator, clinician and researcher. In addition to his family, he leaves a legacy of physicians he trained in obstetrics and gynecology. His wit, eloquence and intellectual achievements live on to inspire all of those colleagues and friends sufficiently fortunate to have known him.

Submitted by Dr. Carolyn Runowicz

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