By Dr. Paul Ehrlich
Yesterday’s Buffalo Daily News reported the passing of Bob Reisman:
“In the 1960s, Dr. Reisman was one of a small cadre of physicians in private practice still funded by competitive grants from the National Institutes of Health. His early work helped define the mechanisms of allergies to penicillin. In addition, he published dozens of scientific papers on insect-sting hypersensitivity and was widely regarded as one of the world’s authorities in the field.
“He was elected a Master of the American College of Physicians, one of the college’s top awards. He also served as the president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, a professional medical membership organization of nearly 6,600 allergist/immunologists and related professionals from around the world; the organization named Dr. Reisman its Distinguished Clinician of the Year in 2003.”
Bob was also one of my mentors many years ago when I did my fellowship in allergy and immunology at Walter Reed Hospital while in the Navy. My friendship with him didn’t get off to a promising start. I was at breakfast with Bob and a few other colleagues when the subject of his hometown of Buffalo came up. As someone who grew up in and around New York City, I made a joke about Buffalo. Another colleague took me aside and said, “Don’t make any more Buffalo jokes to Bob. He lives and breathes it.”
I learned my lesson. The rest of my training was as edifying and informative as a doctor could hope. Bob and another mentor at Walter Reed–Dr. Mark Ballow–were not only great teachers, they were also both from Buffalo, where they returned after their service. Together, they made Buffalo a powerful force in allergy research.
When we started this website, Bob composed a piece on insect stings that remains a model for any doctor or patient.
Bob and his wife Rena were a wonderful couple and great company when they came to New York. My sympathies to her and their children.