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THE HISTORY CORNER: FRIEDA FELDMAN  
 

Dr. Frieda Feldman (1934-2022) was an American musculoskeletal radiology pioneer and chief of Columbia Radiology´s Division of Musculoskeletal Imaging, New York, for more than 20 years. At that time, it was not easy to be a woman in radiology.

A graduate of New York University School of Medicine in 1957, she completed a residency at Bellevue Hospital Center. She joined the Department of Radiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in 1960 and was a valued faculty member for over 50 years.

Her accomplishments—some of them were legendary—were internationally recognized and were largely responsible for Columbia Radiology´s decades-long reputation as an unsurpassed academic department. She was one of the major contributors to the evolving literature on skeletal radiology, with more than 250 articles, including the last one published in 2012 on nonneoplastic lesions that simulate primary tumors of bone. She was responsible for the accumulation of much of the knowledge on which the specialty has long depended.

She was also widely known as a teacher and mentor to many young radiologists. Her commitment to resident teaching was strong. One-on-one sessions with her at the viewbox were much valued by all, whether or not they were pertinent to her specialty. Freida was a great teacher and an outstanding speaker with a wonderful sense of humor, which made her classes and lectures so inspiring and well-attended.

Dr. Feldman was a founding member of the International Skeletal Society. She was awarded gold medals from the American Roentgen Ray Society and the International Skeletal Society. In addition, she served as president of the New York Roentgen Society from 1994 to 1995. She was a guest lecturer for numerous US scinetific societies as well as foreign countries, including Switzerland and Brazil.

She married fellow radiologist Rubem Pochaczevsky, who was her pillar in life and her great love.

Dr. Feldman´s outstanding carrer took place during a lengthy period in which it was not easy to be a woman in radiology. She had the force of character to press on with her work and contributions to the field when professional support was hard to come by. Even after her retirement, she kept her desire to learn and teach.

In 2000, Dr. Feldman wrote the article “Musculoskeletal Radiology: Then and Now” published on Radiology, where she reflects about the changes she had encountered throughout her career and predicts that the increasing number of newer modalities will become indispensable and highly demanded, and that we should imbue those images with insightful, informed, and clinically relevant interpretations that contribute to the enhancement of patient care and quality of life.

 

Her colleagues state that they “have sorely missed her during her retirement, mourn her passing, and celebrate her life.”

Author:
Dr. Luis Humberto Ros

 

 

 
   
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