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By Michele G. Shedlin, PhD, Professor, College of Nursing, New York University and Academy Fellow since 1989

I have vivid memories of that night back in 1963. My grandfather, at age 80, took the stage at the Academy’s Hosack Hall and spoke for one hour—to a rapt audience—about the history of endocrinology.  As a proud granddaughter, I can still remember watching him from my chair near the center of the 700-seat auditorium, with family members by my side.

Now that I have my own career in medicine and I am an Academy Fellow, I never pass by Hosack Hall or sit within its blue and gray marble walls without remembering that day.  

My grandfather, Max A. Goldzieher, was an internationally recognized pathologist and endocrinologist. He served in the Austro-Hungarian army during WWI, then came to the states in the 1920s as a protégé of Cardinal Spellman. He had his research laboratory at St. Clare’s Hospital (it eventually became part of St. Vincents Hospital) and a private practice in Manhattan for many decades. He was one of the first people to write about the adrenal glands and carried out early research on the effects of estrogens, with numerous books published in Europe and the United States.

Max A. Goldzieher, MD (standing, in white)

That wonderful evening back in 1963, the Hungarian Medical Association awarded my grandfather the Semmelweis Medal on the Hosack stage to honor him for his contribution to the field of endocrinology.

Last fall, when I heard that the Academy’s had launched a “Name Your Seat” campaign for Hosack. I sent the information to my father, Joseph Goldzieher, MD. Also an endocrinologist (now retired), he is known for his work on contraception and hormone replacement therapy. He agreed we should name a chair in my grandfather’s name. I suggested that the chair selected should be as close as possible to seat on the aisle, near the middle of the auditorium, where I sat when I attended his lecture. We named the Max A. Goldzieher seat just before Christmas 2015, on behalf of our family.

Generations of my family have attended not only our own professional meetings in Hosack Hall—called “the most beautiful of its kind” when it opened in 1926—but also special lectures offered by many extraordinary people in medicine. I surely won’t forget hearing Oliver Sacks, MD, speak there. I think my grandfather was one of those extraordinary people as well.

My family is pleased that we were able to honor his legacy in medicine by keeping his memory alive for future audiences and the many physicians, nurses and other leaders in medicine who will take center stage at Hosack in years to come. 

 Learn more if you would like to honor someone by naming a seat in Hosack Hall.