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Arnold Gurevitch, professor and chief of dermatology, 66

by Jon Nalick
Arnold W. Gurevitch

Arnold W. Gurevitch, professor and chief of dermatology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and at LAC+USC Healthcare Network, died July 15 of anaplastic thyroid cancer. He was 66.

Gurevitch, a well-known academician and an inspirational and respected teacher, trained hundreds of dermatologists and medical students throughout his 40-year medical career.

Co-workers, medical students, residents, fellows, as well as family members described Gurevitch as a compassionate physician, and a warm and generous man who was dedicated to his family, patients and teaching the practice of medicine.

He was known among his colleagues as a hard worker, devoted to strengthening academic dermatology programs, locally and nationally. And, as physician who spent his career in hospitals for the indigent, he was also known as a vigorous advocate for the underprivileged.

Keck School Dean Stephen J. Ryan said that Gurevitch “was a great dermatologist who held our division of dermatology together in a particularly challenging time. His skills as a diagnostician and practitioner combined with his abilities as a teacher made for his many contributions and accounts for his devoted patients and students who are now dermatologists themselves. We will miss him greatly.”

David Woodley, co-chief of dermatology, said, “His is a great loss to the medical community. He cared greatly about teaching, students, residents and his patients.”

A Los Angeles native, Gurevitch graduated Harvard undergraduate in 1958. He returned to Los Angeles, graduated from UCLA Medical School in 1962, and interned at Los Angeles County General Hospital (later to become LAC+USC Medical Center). After serving a residency that rotated between UCLA’s School of Medicine and the Los Angeles County Harbor General Hospital, Gurevitch entered private practice locally in 1966.

Gurevitch spent the next two years as a Major in the U.S. Army, first stationed at Fort Ord, California and later in Korea, where he served as chief of the division of dermatology with the 121st Evacuation Hospital.

Returning to Los Angeles in 1969, Gurevitch joined the faculty at Harbor General Hospital—later to be known as Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

In 1973, he assumed the role of division chief, a position he held until 1996, when he left Harbor-UCLA to join the Keck School of Medicine as chief of dermatology.

Gurevitch published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. He was a member and leader of several local and national medical societies including: the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Medical Association, the Association of Professors of Dermatology, the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the Pacific Dermatologic Association, and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Dermatological Society. He also received numerous honors and awards, including the Harbor-UCLA Department of Medicine Distinguished Teaching Award, and UCLA’s Victor D. Newcomer Outstanding Clinical Teacher Award. He was an honorary member of the honor medical society Alpha Omega Alpha.

His daughter Lara Holtzman described Gurevitch as stalwart supporter of education and the public schools as well as a devoted fan of the arts, interests he shared with his wife of 42 years Camille. Holtzman said; “Being an artist herself, my mother profoundly influenced my father’s appreciation for the arts. Together they enjoyed attending the opera, theater and museums. They had season tickets for just about everything in Los Angeles.”

Gurevitch is survived by his wife Camille, his two adult children, Douglas and Lara, his grandson Chet, and his brother Robert.

A memorial program will be held on Thursday, September 26, 2002, at 4 p.m. in Mayer Auditorium, 1975 Zonal Ave., Los Angeles, California 90033.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Arnold W. Gurevitch, M.D., Fund for Academic Dermatology, Keck School of Medicine of USC, 2020 Zonal Ave., IRD 620, Los Angeles, 90033.