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January 2018

Dermatology’s Grandest Piano

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Venereology, and Dermatooncology, Semmelweis University, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2private practice, Pembroke Pines, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(1):87. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4696

This is a story about a piano that played a small but special role in dermatology’s history. It belonged to Stephen Rothman, MD (1894-1963), one of the most influential dermatologists of the 20th century. He was also an accomplished pianist.

Rothman was born in Budapest, Hungary, into a Jewish family, although he later became a Roman Catholic. His mother had musical abilities that were reflected in her son’s growing passion for the piano. Rothman was torn between becoming a musician or a physician. Fortunately for dermatology, he chose the latter.

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