History

Walter Lever, “Father of American Dermatopathology” and author of Lever’s Histopathology of the Skin, a seminal text for which BWH’s Murphy eventually served as an associate editor and Drs. Alvaro Laga and Christine Lian as primary chapter authors.

Historically, the Harvard Dermatopathology had its roots in the 19th century when Dr. James Clarke White initiated an outpatient clinic at MGH for patients with skin disorders. Followed by luminaries like John Templeton Bowen (Bowen’s Disease), Walter Lever (author of the “Bible of Dermatopathology”), Wallace Clark, Martin Mihm, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, Jr., Harvard Dermatopathology grew and prospered. The Harvard Dermatopathology Training Program was founded in 1975 by the chairs of the three Harvard Pathology Departments: Harold Dvorak (BIDMC), Robert McCluskey (MGH), and Ramzi Cotran (BWH), and was among the five first accredited programs in the United States. The BWH Dermatopathology Service was initiated in 1981, when Dr. George Murphy became the first full-time dermatopathologist at this sister Institution. Returning to BWH after the most successful tenures of luminary directors Raymond Barnhill and Phillip McKee, Murphy initiated the Program in Dermatopathology in 2004 under the administrative oversight of BWH Pathology Department Chair, Dr. Michael Gimbrone, extending and enhancing a tradition of BWH dermatopathology excellence in diagnosis and education to include funded basic and translational research. Today, the BWH Program in Dermatopathology represents and continuously endeavors to enhance the success of the classical Oslerian concept of education, research, and patient care.

Historical notes from Dermatopathology, by Lyn M. Duncan et al., in.,Keen Minds to Explore the Dark Continents of Disease (DN Louis and RH Young, eds.); Memoirs Unltd., Beverly, MA