We are saddened to report the death of our friend and colleague, Alvin S. Teirstein, M.D.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Posted by: Kerri McCabe
Alvin Teirstein, M.D.
(from: Mount Sinai Medical Center, Broadcast Communications)
We are saddened to report the death of our friend and colleague, Alvin S. Teirstein, M.D., who passed away yesterday at age 83.
Dr. Teirstein joined The Mount Sinai Medical Center in 1953 and had a lifetime of nationally influential accomplishments. He first served as a rotating intern and in 1974, was appointed Chief of the Division of what is now known as the Catherine and Henry Gaisman Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. During his 27 years in this role, Dr. Teirstein established the Medical Intensive Care Unit and the Respiratory Care Unit at The Mount Sinai Hospital and he introduced the fiberoptic bronchoscopy program. In the 1980s, Mount Sinai physicians were among the first to use the bronchoscope to make the diagnosis of lung diseases in patients with AIDS and to investigate the pulmonary manifestations of that disease.
From 1977 to 2001, Dr. Teirstein was also the Florette and Ernst Rosenfeld and Joseph Solomon Professor of Medicine. When he stepped down as Division Chief in 2001, he was named the Dr. George Baehr Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of the Vivien Richenthal Institute for Pulmonary and Critical Care Research. As a researcher, Dr. Teirstein was internationally recognized for his contributions to the care of patients with sarcoidosis. He also made important contributions to the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, and environmental and fibrosing lung disease. He provided critical insights that were translated into direct improvements in patient care.
As a charismatic teacher and mentor, Dr. Teirstein trained generations of students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty, many of whom are now leaders in the science and treatment of pulmonary disease in the United States and throughout the world.
Dr. Teirstein was also an outstanding and dedicated physician, one who received many letters and tributes from grateful patients. In recognition of this, in 2006 funds were secured to name an auditorium in his honor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
During his career, Dr. Teirstein earned many honors, including the highest awards granted by Mount Sinai. In 1986, he received the Jacobi Medallion; in 1993, the Committee of 1000 gave him the Outstanding Faculty Award; and in 1996, the Department of Nursing named him Attending Physician of the Year. He served as an editor of several journals and was a member of numerous professional societies. Dr. Teirstein received his M.D. from SUNY–Downstate College of Medicine.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, February 3, at 11:45 a.m. at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th Street, New York. His wife, Alice, asks that any donations be made to the Vivien Richenthal Institute for Pulmonary and Critical Care Research, an endeavor that was so important to Dr. Teirstein. To contribute, please contact Lisa King at 212-659-8500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mount Sinai family has lost a beloved friend and cherished colleague, and we extend our sincere condolences to Dr. Teirstein’s family and friends who also feel this deep loss.