Dr. Peter Rosen Dies at Age 84
Published November 12, 2019
Emergency medicine worldwide is today mourning the death of Dr. Peter Rosen, emergency medicine’s founding father, known for his passion for teaching, reverence for emergency medicine, and respect for patients. Dr. Rosen passed away last night at his home in Tucson, Arizona, at the age of 84.
Dr. Rosen is widely recognized for his many contributions to academic emergency medicine. Among his many accomplishments is "Rosen’s Emergency Management: Concepts and Clinical Practice," the first comprehensive textbook of emergency medicine. Dr. Rosen was the founding editor and force behind the textbook, which remains highly regarded as EM’s flagship “field manual.”
Throughout his long and fruitful career, Dr. Rosen spoke, wrote, and consulted on all matters of emergency medicine, specifically focusing on the establishment of emergency medicine as a specialty and creating EM residency programs.
At the time of his passing, Dr. Rosen was a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School and a visiting professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. He was also professor emeritus at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine.
Generations of emergency medicine physicians have trained under Dr. Rosen in programs he started; many have gone on to chair their own departments and achieve success in the field, among them Dr. Richard Wolfe, a member of the SAEM Board of Directors.
“For many of us, Dr. Rosen was an unparalleled mentor and friend and his loss will be felt greatly. He was one of our greatest visionaries. Back when care was provided in an "emergency room,” before there were academic departments, textbooks, journals, or board exams, he saw our specialty as a unique and wonderful discipline that needed to be developed, recognized, and supported. He dedicated his life to making that come true,” said Dr. Wolfe.
With his passion for emergency medicine, his warmth, and his humor, Dr. Rosen guided countless students, residents, and faculty. He inspired many to pursue academics and fight the good fight to have emergency medicine assume its place as one of the primary medical specialties. SAEM Board member Dr. Christopher Carpenter expressed the thoughts of many in a message to SAEM's Academy of Geriatric Medicine (AGEM):
“Peter was a friend and advisor to me, frequently reaching out via email when he had some idea about geriatrics to convey. Every one of his emails ended in ‘Love, Peter.’ I'll miss his wisdom, humor, and EM history lessons — but mostly his friendship.”
Dr. Rosen held offices in several academic societies and won numerous prestigious awards related to his work teaching and counseling generations of emergency medicine physicians.
Among Dr. Rosen’s many honors were the SAEM Leadership Award for Outstanding Contribution to Academic Emergency Medicine and ACEP’s Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award and its Award for Outstanding Contribution in Education. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993. In 2013 Dr. Rosen was awarded an honorary PhD in Science from his medical school alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, for his work in the establishment of the specialty of emergency medicine.
Dr. Rosen was an academic emergency physician since 1971, He received his undergraduate degree in pre-medicine from the University of Chicago in 1955 and his medical degree in 1960 from Washington University medical school.
Emergency medicine is grateful to Dr. Rosen for his vision and wisdom and indebted to him for helping craft the EM specialty into what it is today. Rest in Peace, Dr. Rosen.