Distinguished Alumni: Michael Salcman, MED ’69

COM-Michael SalcmanMichael Salcman, MD, is an internationally known neurological surgeon, poet and art critic. Born in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia in 1946, the son of Holocaust survivors, he came to the United States in 1949.  He attended the Combined Program in Liberal Arts and Medical Education at Boston University where he received both the BA and MD in 1969, graduating first in his class. After a surgical internship, he was a Fellow in Neurophysiology at the National Institutes of Health from 1970 to 1972 and trained in neurological surgery at Columbia University’s Neurological Institute in New York (1972-1976). He joined the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1976 and served as chairman of neurosurgery from 1984 through 1991. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Columbia’s Neurological Institute in 1985 and of Boston University’s School of Medicine in 2001. In 1991 he was elected President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He is the author of almost 200 medical and scientific papers and the author or editor of six medical and scientific texts.

A past President of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, Salcman lectures widely on the relationship between the arts and sciences & the visual arts and the brain, at such institutions as The Cooper Union in New York, the Maryland Institute and College of Art in Baltimore, and the Walters Art Museum. As Special Lecturer in the Osher Institute at Towson University he regularly teaches History of Modern and Contemporary Art from 1800 to the Present at Towson University, the Art Seminars Group, and the Osher Institute at Johns Hopkins. Salcman has been writing poetry for almost fifty years. His poems have been widely published in such journals as Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Harvard Review, Hopkins Review, The Hudson Review, New Letters, New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, The Ontario Review, Poet Lore, and Raritan. His work has been nominated for six Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Web Award, and his poems have appeared on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and in several anthologies. They can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, on WYPR’s The Signal and on Maryland Morning, and in Lee Boot’s award-winning feature-length documentary about the brain and creativity, Euphoria (2008). In 2012, a suite of Salcman’s poems were set to music by noted Baltimore composer Lorraine Whittlesey.

Salcman received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2001. The Alumni Association of Boston University School of Medicine confers Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Humanitarian Awards on graduates of the medical school.

The BUSM Distinguished Alumnus/a Award is presented to a graduate in recognition of outstanding and widely recognized achievement, particularly to one who exemplifies the standards and objectives of the School of Medicine through personal conduct, professional accomplishments, and community service. Distinct preference is given to one whose achievements have a significant impact to the medical field on a national and global scale.

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