- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Frederic Noah Silverman

Born  1914
Died  2006

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American paediatric radiologist, born June 16, 1914, Syracuse, New York; died March 15, 2006.

Biography of Frederic Noah Silverman

We thank Dr. Hooshang Taybi for submitting this biography, with bibliography, of Frederic Noah Silverman:

Frederic Silverman graduated from Syracuse University School of Medicine in 1939. He received his paediatric training at Yale University (1939-1940) and Johns Hopkins University (1940-1941). This was followed by training in paediatric pathology at Babies Hospital at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. World War II interrupted his education and he enlisted in the United States Army Medical Corps on December 8, 1941. The next three years he served in the South Pacific. After the war he returned to Babies Hospital where he became interested in paediatric radiology and received training from1945 to 1947 under John Caffey (1895-1978), the father of this specialty and the author of Pediatric X-ray Diagnosis.

Dr. Silverman became the Director of the Division of Roentgenology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 1947. In 1976 he moved to Stanford University Medical Center continuing his teaching and writing, free of administrative duties. He inspired several generations of medical students, interns and residents rotating through radiology departments, some choosing paediatric radiology as their field of practice for years to come. The paediatric fellows trained in his department in Cincinnati became department heads, teachers and practicing paediatric radiologists in the United States and other countries.

Frederic Silverman is the author or co-author of over 160 journal and textbook articles with emphasis on paediatric skeletal disorders and genetic syndromes/diseases. After Caffey’s death he became the senior editor of Pediatric X-ray Diagnosis. He was a pioneer in alerting the medical community and the public on child abuse (battered child syndrome) with his publication in a radiology journal in 1953 and the Journal of American Medical Association in 1962. He was one of the most revered teachers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and very popular as visiting professor and invited lecturer at national and international levels. Among many professional awards he has received are the Gold Medal of the Society for Pediatric Radiology in 1988 (the first person to receive this honor), the Antoine Béclère award (subject: De l’art du diagnostic des nanismes et du diagnostic des nanismes dans l’art), the Brandt F. Steele Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of child abuse and neglect, the Gold Medal of the Association of University Radiologists and the Drake Medal of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine as an outstanding paediatrician and radiologist.

The Silverman Society was formed by his former fellows in his honor in 1972. The Frederic N. Silverman Lecture series started in 1985 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. An endowed Frederic N. Silverman Chair in Pediatric Radiology was established at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 1998.

In his mid-eighties Dr. Silverman retired from practice of medicine ending a brilliant career as a caring paediatrician, a distinguished radiologist and a generous teacher sharing his vast knowledge with colleagues and students. During the many decades of professional activities he had the full support of his wife, Carolyn Silverman, both now living in a retirement community in California.

    "Fred Silverman is first and foremost a consummate pediatric physician whose contributions to diagnostic radiology have improved the health and welfare of children throughout the world."
    Janet Strife, M.D., Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center's director of radiology


  • B. R. Parker:
    Frederic N. Silverman, 1988 Gold Medalist of the Society for Pediatric Radiology.
    American Journal of Roentgenology, 1988, 151:761.
  • W. Gerhardt:
    1998 Drake Medal goes to Frederic N. Silverman M.D.
    Staff Bulletin, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, 1998.


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