One might say if you don’t know Dr. Herbert Cohn, you don’t really know Jefferson. Dr. Cohn arrived at Jefferson Medical College in 1951 as a medical student (JMC ’55). Since that time, he has left only for his intern year at Atlantic City Hospital and two years of service in the U.S. Air Force. After graduating from the medical school, he completed his residency training on the service of John H. Gibbon, Jr., MD and his fellowship training in cardiovascular surgery. He was appointed to the faculty in 1962 and that was just the beginning.
In the following decades, Dr. Cohn’s surgical practice focused on endocrine and thoracic surgery. He earned a reputation as an exceptional educator with high expectations, and an excellent clinician with a gentle bedside manner. Dr. Cohn has made immeasurable contributions to the educational initiatives at Jefferson and trained hundreds of surgeons. He received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1980, was named the first Anthony E. Narducci, MD Professor of Surgery in 1998 and was appointed to the JMC Academy of Distinguished Educators in 2011. He has also been a tireless advocate for patient safety and performance improvement, most recently as Surgeon Champion of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) and the Vice Chair for Quality in the Department of Surgery.
Last summer Dr. Cohn initiated a phased retirement with plans to fully retire in 2014. It will be an end of an era, literally and figuratively. Dr. Cohn’s presence has provided today’s young surgeons with one- degree of separation from Dr. John Gibbon, Jr. – a neatly dressed, perfectly polite living connection to a surgical pioneer and a physician who has made his own indelible mark on Jefferson.
A video about Dr. Cohn is available on www.jefferson.edu/SurgeryChairs. The tribute was shown at the Jefferson Awards Gala in 2009 and features several Jefferson colleagues along with his three sons and his wife of 59 years, Natalie. Sadly, she passed away on February 4, 2013.
"Faculty Profile: Herbert E. Cohn, MD, FACS,"
Jefferson Surgical Solutions: Vol. 8:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://jdc.jefferson.edu/jss/vol8/iss1/6