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Festschrift Honoring Ronald Rabinowitz, MD

By: Sutchin R. Patel, MD, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Jennifer B. Gordetsky, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; David A. Diamond, MD, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York; Anthony A. Caldamone, MD, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island | Posted on: 21 Feb 2024

The University of Rochester Department of Urology hosted a festschrift in honor of Dr Ronald Rabinowitz on September 29 and 30, 2023. The 2-day event featuring academic presentations covering a variety of topics including pediatric urology and urologic history was attended by Dr Rabinowitz’s family, friends, colleagues, and past trainees, many of whom traveled from around the country as well as internationally (Figure 1). The presentation abstracts will be published in a special edition of Journal of Pediatric Urology in 2024.

Figure 1. Attendees at Dr Rabinowitz’s festschrift.

Dr Rabinowitz is a professor of urology and pediatrics, chief of the Division of Pediatric Urology at the University of Rochester, and historian of the AUA (Figure 2). Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Dr Rabinowitz earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his urology residency at the Hospitals of the University Medical Center of Pittsburgh, including a year at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. This was followed by a fellowship in pediatric urology at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. He served 2 years on active duty in the United States Air Force as a pediatric and general surgeon.

Figure 2. Sally and Dr Ronald Rabinowitz.

Dr Rabinowitz is an internationally renowned expert in pediatric urology and urologic history. He has served organized urology in numerous capacities over 4 decades. As a member of the AUA Board of Directors (2001-2005), he served as a member of the history subcommittee of the Strategic/Long Range Planning Committee that was tasked with designing a role for the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History in the new headquarters building. In this capacity, he recommended and participated in planning to spread the museum’s displays throughout the building as one sees today.

Nationally, Dr Rabinowitz has served the Northeastern Section AUA as secretary, president, and historian; the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Urology as chair; and the American Board of Urology on the written examination committee and as an oral examiner. The AUA has honored Dr Rabinowitz with a Distinguished Service Award in 2013, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021, and the William P. Didusch Art and History Award in 2023.

On the evening of September 29, the attendees toasted Dr Rabinowitz at the Genesee Valley Club in Rochester, New York. It was a night filled with many touching and humorous stories about Ron. Prior to the evening’s conclusion, New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney presented Dr Rabinowitz with a proclamation, given to individuals who perform exemplary service on behalf of their communities, for his lifetime achievements in the field of pediatric urology.

At the conclusion of the festschrift, Dr Jean Joseph, chair of urology, best summarized what Dr Rabinowitz has meant to all of us when he stated, “Ron has been a pillar in the field of pediatric urology. His legacy will be one of kindness, compassion, and excellence. His contributions to our discipline will remain strong. He has inspired many to choose the subspecialty, pediatric urology, who have since become leaders at their own institutions. His legacy will also come from his passion and his contributions as a historian. Our gratitude to Ron, for making us all better.” The department then announced the highest honor the university could bestow on a faculty member, the creation of the Sally and Ronald Rabinowitz Endowed Professorship in Pediatric Urology.

Dr Rabinowitz’s festschrift was filled with everything that he loved: presentations and stories from his colleagues and many former residents, lots of humor, multiple references to his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, and a sprinkling of urologic history. At the end of the event, Dr Rabinowitz humorously thanked himself for picking the right parents, the right brother, the right wife, the right children, the right best friends and colleagues, and the right residents to train and made very clear that despite the wonderful event, he is still not retiring.

For more photos from Dr Rabinowitz’s festschrift and colorful photos from his career please visit: