In Memoriam: Carroll Brodsky, MD, PhD

Friday, August 22, 2014

Brodsky Long-time faculty member Carroll M. Brodsky, MD, PhD, died peacefully at his home in San Francisco on August 12, 2014, at the age of 91.

After serving in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, Brodsky earned a BA, MA, and PhD in Anthropology from the Catholic University of America. He later moved to San Francisco, earning an MD at UCSF and specializing in psychiatry with a residency at the then-Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute. In 1960, he joined the UCSF Department of Psychiatry as a clinical instructor, rising to the rank of full professor in 1972. He created a course on the social and cultural basis of illness behavior, a subject that drew on his training in anthropology and medicine, and regularly taught courses on interviewing skills and occupational psychiatry. Brodsky also served as a dissertation advisor on medical anthropology at both UCSF and UC Berkeley. Upon his retirement from UCSF, he was named professor emeritus in 1991.

Known for his wonderful sense of humor and deep insight into the human condition, Brodsky was a popular teacher who inspired his students to achieve their best. He was in high demand as a lecturer and frequently delivered invited lectures to national organizations. He was a prolific author, publishing numerous articles on long-term work stress and other areas of academic research. His 1976 book, The Harassed Worker, was a ground-breaking analysis which helped establish the concept of harassment in the workplace, with its sub-fields based on sex, race, sexual orientation, age, and disability. 

Brodsky practiced psychiatry for over 50 years, retiring shortly before his 90th birthday. He had a marvelous way of making everyone with whom he talked feel special, and his professional contributions live on in the lives of his patients, students, and colleagues.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Herma, and by three sons and four grandchildren. His family is planning a memorial service to be held in San Francisco during Columbus Day weekend.


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service