Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dr. Albert H. Freiberg

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
Vol. XXII No. 4, October 1940

Dr. Albert H. Freiberg died in Cincinnati, July 14, 1940, after an illness of two weeks. He was born in Cincinnati, August 17, 1868, the son of Joseph and Amahia Freiberg. He is survived by his wife, who was Jeannette Freiberg, and two sons, Joseph A., who was associated with him in his practice, and Albert M., who is an attorney.

He was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and of the Medical College of Ohio, which later became the Medical College of the University. After his internship at the General Hospital he spent considerable time abroad, studying at the universities of Wurzburg, Strasbourg, Berlin, and Vienna. On his return to this country in 1893 he began practice in Cincinnati, and, as was the custom in those days, he began with general work, but his aim always led him toward specializing in orthopaedic surgery.

Dr. Freiberg always took an active part in the affairs of his profession and was a member of the American Medical Association, the American Orthopaedic Association, the Clinical Orthopaedic Society, and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He was also active in local medical affairs. He was President of the Ohio Medical Society, 1929-1930; the Cincinnati Academy of Medicine, i923-1924; and Chairman of the Orthopaedic Section of the American Medical Association, 1917-1918.

Dr. Freiberg played an important part in the establishment of orthopaedic surgery in his city and state, and the present position of orthopaedic surgery in that community is largely due to his influence and the result of his work. He was Chief of the Orthopaedic Service at the Cincinnati General Hospital,
at the Children’s Hospital, and at the Jewish Hospital while in active practice, and continued to serve as consultant at these hospitals. At the time of his retirement from the Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College of the University two years ago, he was made Professor Emeritus. During the World War he served as Major in the Medical Corps, United States Army, and was Chief of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Walter Reed Hospital at that time.

Dr. Freiberg always took a special interest in the affairs of the American Orthopaedic Association, particularly in its development, to the end that it might be an important and influential factor in establishing and maintaining a high and dignified standard. He was President of the Association for the year 1910-1911 and always took an active part in the scientific and administrative proceedings of all of its meetings, and served on many important committees. In the executive meetings Dr. Freiberg was frequently consulted on matters of parliamentary law. His mind was keen and analytical, his judgment fair and tinged with kindliness. He was a splendid speaker and his tongue had no barb. He was influential in debate and frequently turned the discussion toward a correct and wise decision. His honesty and good sense added weight to his opinions. He took a prominent part in its scientific sessions and the Association always looked forward to his communications as being of value for they indicated the result of his experience and excellent judgment. His position was always foremost in the advance line of progress.

He was an active contributor to medical literature. He showed a good deal of originality, and was always foremost in aiding advancements which came to orthopaedic surgery through the enlargement of the field of surgery resulting from the advent of antiseptic surgery. He kept in close touch with the departments of medicine other than that to which he devoted his life, and he did this on principle as part of his eager quest for knowledge, which was evident in his clear sense of values and breadth of grasp. His consideration of all sides of any problem gave weight and confidence to his decision.

He always gave much of his time and thought to the problem of rehabilitation of crippled children, and was one of the first members of the profession to advocate state aid for their care. He accomplished a great deal in interesting the community and also other states in the solution of this problem and in the establishment of legislation for state aid.

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