Fred Epstein Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award
The AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery is honoring Fred J. Epstein, MD, with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Rick Boop presents the award Dec. 9 during the section's 2004 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Dr. Epstein was born in Yonkers, N.Y. The middle son of an intellectually gifted family, his struggles with learning issues challenged both him and his parents. It may be this one factor more than any other that formed his character: his drive, his work ethic, his enthusiasm for challenges and his empathy for children. Upon receiving his bachelor's degree from New York University in 1959 and his medical degree from New York Medical College in 1963, Dr. Epstein performed his surgical internship and surgical residency at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. In 1970 he completed his neurosurgical residency at New York University Medical Center while serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. Subsequently, Dr. Epstein was appointed to the NYU Medical Center as an assistant professor of neurosurgery. In 1983, he was named professor of neurosurgery, and two years later he was appointed as the first director of the division of pediatric neurosurgery.
Dr. Epstein undertook and solved many of the previously deemed insurmountable problems relating to the neurosurgical treatment of spinal cord tumors. His extensive documentation of new techniques and neurosurgical methodology helped advance the treatment of both spinal cord and brain stem tumors.
During his career, Dr. Epstein has served as president of the International Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery, the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and the AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery. He additionally served as editor in chief of the Journal of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He received fellowships from the American College of Surgeons, the New York Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has published more than 175 papers and has trained pediatric neurosurgeons practicing in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Following a personal imperative to provide patients with both comfort and state-of-the-art technology, Dr. Epstein was intimately involved in the creation of the Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. It was there that he was able to fulfill his dream of a technologically advanced facility where the special needs of his young patients and their families dealing with the most serious illnesses could be treated in a truly caring and unique environment. Dr. Epstein's philosophy about caring for children is chronicled in his recent book, If I Get to Five: What Children Can Teach Us About Courage.