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Lawrence B. Slobody, M.D. '1936 (1910-2001)

Lawrence Boris Slobody, M.D. '36, served as acting president of New York Medical College from 1971-72, and as president from 1972-1977. He also served as acting dean from 1965 - 1966.

Dr. Slobody was a pediatrician, author and educator. Born in New York City in 1910, he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1930 from New York University and his M.D. from New York Medical College. Dr. Slobody completed his internship and residency at Metropolitan Hospital.

Dr. Slobody was appointed chief of the Frederick S. Wheeler Laboratory for Nutritional Research at the College in 1943, and was instrumental in College researchers developing early tests for Vitamin C and B deficiencies.

Dr. Slobody was professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics from 1948 to 1963, was appointed director of the Center for Maternal and Child Health in 1963, and became vice president and acting dean in 1966.

Dr. Slobody was known for his active development of baby products and his work with those who people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He developed the first multi-disciplined clinic for diagnosis and treatment of the mentally retarded and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and was the first Gold Medal recipient of the Association for the Help of Mentally Retarded Children. In 1954, he was the youngest physician elected to the American Pediatric Society.

He received the 1950 award from the Association for the Help of Retarded Children for “the physician who has contributed the most to the help of retarded children.” He was the author of the classic Survey of Clinical Pediatrics (1959)and an author of journal articles related to diaper rashes, mental retardation and medical education.

His positions were many: President of the Medical Board of Metropolitan Hospital; Chairman, Section of Pediatrics of the New York Academy of Medicine; Chairman, Pediatric Advisory Committee of the New York City Department of Health; Vice President of the Coordinating Council for Cerebral Palsy; Chairman, Advisory Committee on Mental Retardation of the New York State Interdepartmental Health Resources Board.

In 1996, he published another book, The Golden Years: A 12-Step Anti-Aging Plan for a Longer, Healthier, and Happier Life (Bergin & Garvey). As Acting Dean, Vice President and eventually President of NYMC, he was instrumental in developing the early departments and sections for Geriatrics. Because of Dr. Slobody’s influence, the New York City Department of Hospitals with the help of the College, established the 2,000-bed Bird S. Coler Center specializing in research and care for the aging.

In retirement, he divided time between Amherst, Massachusetts, and Florida and raised horses, and even edited a book devoted to the Currier and Ives lithographs of American trotting horses. 

Lawrence B. Slobody, M.D. '36 passed away on April 23, 2001, at the age of 90.