Robert Samuel Neuwirth, MD

Robert Samuel Neuwirth, MD

Robert Samuel Neuwirth, MD (December 17, 2013)

On December 17, 2013 Dr. Robert Neuwirth died at the age of eighty from complications of a stroke.

Bob was a gentle soul and visionary gynecologist.

Robert Samuel Neuwirth was born on July 11, 1933 in Flora Park, NY, the only child of Phyllis and Abraham, a doctor. He subsequently received his Bachelor's degree from Yale University in Chemistry in 1955 and his Medical Degree from Yale in 1958. He then completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Colombia Presbyterian Hospital in 1962.

He was named head of the Obstetric and Gynecology Department at St. Luke's in 1974 and held that position until 1991, well after the hospital had become the St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital.

He was a professor at Colombia from 1977-2000. In the past, he served as an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1982-1988.

Dr. Neuwirth provided new insights and techniques in gynecology many involving minimally invasive surgery. In fact, he was one of the fathers of minimally invasive surgery based on his extensive experience with hysteroscopic procedures, including removal of fibroids and endometrial ablation. He freely passed on these pioneering findings and changes. His enthusiasm for these revolutionary procedures made him a wonderful teacher and raconteur.

Bob was innovative as far as evidence based medicine was concerned, long before everyone else, he did long term follow-up on his surgical patients, who were treated with surgical procedures he developed.

He received a Patent for a technique that they utilized: a balloon in the uterine cavity filled with hot water to cauterize the endometrium.

Dr. Neuwirth was an uncomplicated gentleman and a brilliant gynecologist. He was a wonderful mentor and friend. His students remained loyal to him years after they left his tutelage.

In addition, he was a great thinker, precise and detail oriented; he though deeply about problems that he planned to solve. I quote form the New York Times obituary, "Bob was a modest man who was not inclined to professional networking or self-promotion. He didn't sell his ideas, he just did his stuff, and people saw he was good and picked it up. Neuwirth is survived by his son Michael and four other children and six grandchildren."

Submitted by Alan DeCherney

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