Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Department of Dermatology, 1897
Dermatology was taught to Tufts' senior medical students at the Boston City and Carney Hospitals as early as 1897. The first chair of the department, Dr. James S. Howe, was appointed in 1903. He was succeeded by Drs. Francis J. Keany, Townsend W. Thorndike, and William P. Boardman, all of whom were engaged in private practice.
Dr. John G. Downing, who was professor and chairman from 1944 to 1952, was responsible for establishing a national and international reputation for the department as a result of his interest in the field of industrial dermatology. He also organized a residency at the Boston City Hospital. Dr. Bernard Appel, who led the department from 1952 to 1961, helped develop a program for third-year students that involved both lectures and clinics and allowed them to visit the Boston City Hospital for ward walks, laboratory sessions, and conferences. During Dr. Appel's tenure, faculty members published a number of clinical studies.
In 1961 Dr. Walter F. Lever became the first full-time chair of the department and the director of the services at the Boston City Hospital and the Boston Dispensary. An eminent dermatopathologist and a pioneer in the study of blistering diseases, he developed both a full-time and part-time faculty for teaching and research and established laboratories at the medical school, the Boston Dispensary, and the Boston City Hospital. During this time, the department was also able to obtain federal support for research. By the time Dr. Lever retired in 1977, Tufts possessed a strong department of dermatology, despite the fact that the school had lost the Boston City Hospital's service in 1974.
In 1980 Dr. David S. Feingold, a graduate of Harvard Medical School who had previously been a professor of dermatology at Boston University and chief of that section at the Boston V. A. Medical Center, was appointed professor and chair of Tufts' department and chief at the New England Medical Center. He has since brought the department to an outstanding level of teaching, research, and patient care. The faculty has grown to include nine physicians who specialize in the divisions of general dermatology, dermatological surgery, and dermatological research. Research laboratories have been established in the New England Medical Center's Ziskind Building. The research enterprise developed by Dr. Lever and enhanced by Dr. Feingold and his faculty has earned national recognition for the department.
Source: COE, 132-33.