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Barney David Usher

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					                                     Barney David             Usher
                                                     1899-1978
OnUsher, 14, 1978, Barney
   July
         MDCM,          died
                     suddenly
                                   David
 his home in Montreal. He was born in
                                        at
                                             this marked the beginning of a long
                                             and dedicated career in the academic
                                             world. His teaching duties began at
                                                                                              He was a founding member of the
                                                                                           Montreal Dermatological Society, and
                                                                                           became its president in 1940. He was
 Montreal on July 1,1899 and received        that time, although he was not                the first elected member of the Cana¬
 his early education there; he grad¬         appointed to the McGill faculty until         dian Dermatological Association, and
 uated in medicine at McGill Universi¬       1931. Since practice was slow in devel¬       became its president on two separate
 ty in 1922. Dr Usher did a rotating         oping, and since he had ample time on         occasions, 1942 and 1951. During this
 internship at the Lakeside Hospital in      his hands, he soon put himself to work        second presidency, he established
 Cleveland after graduation, and he          doing basic dermatological research.          what has now become the Barney
 spent six months at the Alexandra           In those days, the laboratories were          Usher Research Award to encourage
 Hospital for Communicable Diseases          poorly equipped, and assistants and           young dermatologists to do basic
 in Montreal. During this period, his        grants were nonexistent, yet Dr               research. He was a member of the
 interest in dermatology was aroused.        Usher did some very valuable work on          American Academy of Dermatology
 There were few trained dermatolo¬           sweat and the relationship of internal        since its inception, and attended
 gists in Montreal, or for that matter in    disease and eczema. This interest in          several international congresses. He
 Canada, and there were no training          investigative procedure continued             was justifiably proud of being an
programs.                                    throughout his life.                          honorary member of the British Asso¬
    Dr Usher was fortunate in obtain¬           His real love, and what might be           ciation of Dermatologists and the
 ing a preceptorship in the office of the    called his forte, was teaching. Here, he      Greek Association of Dermatology.
 late Dr William Alan Pusey, and it          got down to basics and taught the                Barney Usher's name is well known
 was there that he met and became            primary and secondary lesions, and            in the dermatological world because of
 associated with Dr Francis Senear. Dr       how they made up the disease picture.         his first article with Francis Senear,
 Usher has recorded what a true teach¬       After he reached the age of compulso¬         but his great contribution was in
 ing experience this was for him. He         ry retirement from the active staff at        teaching. To him, the patient always
 learned morphology well, and met the        the hospital, he continued to teach the       came   first, and his teaching was more
greats of American dermatology at            resident staff at the clinics of the          of what can we do for the patient,
the meetings of the Chicago Derma-           Montreal General Hospital, and, in¬           than what can we do to the patient.
tological Society. The meetings were         deed, Dr Usher had planned to attend          While he enjoyed a moderate private
held in the offices of Dr Pusey or Dr        such a teaching clinic on the day of his      practice, making money was of minor
Oliver Ormsby, and visitors, such as         death. He was also engaged in a busy          importance. He took pride in the fact
Drs Henry Michelson of Minneapolis,          private practice to the end. Thus,            that he saw patients on an average of
Richard L. Sutton, Sr, of Kansas City,       Barney Usher practiced dermatology            two to three visits only. He enjoyed
Mo, Udo Wile of Ann Arbor, Mich, and         and taught dermatology for some 52            spending time with the patients and
Oskar Gans of Frankfurt, West Ger¬           years. He will long be remembered by          could never understand how anyone
many, were highlights. During this           the 60-odd dermatologists throughout          would get any fun in running what he
period, he and Dr Senear published           Canada and around the world who               called "a mill," that is, in seeing 60 to
their article "An Unusual Type of            spent some time with him. One such            70 patients each day.
Pemphigus." Dr Usher modestly gave           ex-resident tells me that he is always           Barney Usher had a full life. He
credit to Dr Oliver Ormsby for making        conscious of Barney Usher looking             enjoyed his work to the end, and he
the diagnosis, and to Dr Senear for          over his shoulder when he is examin¬          died as he would have wished. He was
"putting it all together."                   ing a perplexing patient.                     proud of his family and their suc¬
   After this period, Dr Usher re¬             Dr Usher    was   also associated with      cesses. To his wife Ruth, his daughter
turned to his native Montreal and            the Jewish General Hospital in Mon¬           Carole, his son Michael, and the four
opened a small office. He was                treal, and was for a period the derma¬        grandchildren, we extend our sympa¬
appointed Junior Assistant Dermatol¬         tologist-in-chief at that institution.        thy.
ogist and Syphilologist at the Mon¬          He was also active in many local,                    R. Roy Forsey, MD,     FRCP(C)
treal General Hospital in 1926, and          national, and international societies.               Montreal




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