1. Salcido, Richard "Sal MD"

Article Content

It is with sadness that I report on the passing of one of our distinguished colleagues. Morris D. Kerstein, MD, Rear Admiral, US Navy (Ret), 75, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died in February from renal failure complications. He was a well-respected academic vascular surgeon and leader in the wound care field. Dr Kerstein served on the peer-review panel for Advances in Skin & Wound Care for several years.


Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Dr Kerstein graduated from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, and earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago Medical School in Illinois in 1963.


Dr Kerstein was a renaissance man-being a physician was his job and medicine was his hobby, and he also loved music. He was active in military medicine, vascular surgery, and was a quintessential mentor-his humanity was bigger than his ego. His true passion, though, was teaching and mentoring his medical residents and fellows, said his son, Lars. "He took such pride in the success of his students and fellows and kept in touch with them throughout their careers."


Dr Kerstein held academic appointments at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; the University of Chicago; Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was also associate dean; Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was chairman of surgery; and Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center, New York, New York, where he was vice chairman and director of research in the department of surgery. He was adjunct professor at Thomas Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Academic Career

Dr Kerstein's publications number more than 700, representing manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and abstracts. He has edited and published multiple books and numerous book chapters, periodicals, monographs, and supplements. He was a member of many professional societies and also served as a distinguished visiting professor nationally and internationally. His various leadership roles over the years included the presidency of the Vascular Society and the Wound Healing Society. Dr Kerstein was also a member of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. His research funding has totaled more than $1 million.


In 2005, Dr Kerstein was honored by the Association of Women Surgeons, who recognized him for his advocacy of women in surgery and mentoring of women trainees. Dr Kerstein expressed that he never intended to become an advocate for women in surgery. "I never thought that women in my field could be any different than men," he stated. "My only advice to a woman considering surgery is to follow your heart." Dr Kerstein was an early adopter and leader in the concept of interprofessional education and practice.


Service to Our Country

Dr Kerstein's ability to excel in dual career tracks was exemplified by his sustained meritorious service to our country in the US Navy Medical Corps, which he joined in 1963, serving 2 years in the Vietnam Theater of Operations as a US Navy trauma surgeon. In addition, he served in the US Navy Reserve, in support of operations in Beirut and during Desert Storm. While in the US Navy, Dr Kerstein's research paper titled, "Water as a Tactical Weapon: A Doctrine for Preventing Heat Casualties," was instrumental in setting new guidelines for rapid deployment of troops in hot climates. After a distinguished career in military medicine, Dr Kerstein retired in 1993 at the rank of Rear Admiral. He was also on the faculty of the Uniformed Service University in Bethesda, Maryland. His last assignment in support of our veterans was as chief of staff at the VA Medical Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Dr Kerstein was a life member of the Association of Military Surgeons and was a member of the Naval Order of the United States, which includes many prominent admirals who have distinguished themselves in the annals of our nation's naval history. He was a recipient of many awards and decorations including the Association of Military Surgeons Medal of the United States.


Personal Life

In addition to his son Lars, Dr Kerstein is survived by his wife of 32 years, Margaret Schwedler-Kerstein, MD, who is a clinical associate professor of anesthesia and director of Ambulatory Anesthesia, Jefferson Surgery Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and 1 grandchild.


Dr Kerstein will be laid to rest with full military honors on April 11, 2013, at Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery.


We will greatly miss him in the wound care community, but his contributions to surgical medicine, wound care, and national service will continue to exemplify a higher standard that we can all strive to achieve.


Richard "Sal" Salcido, MD

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.