Howard Sokolov

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Sokolov Howard Sokolov, M.D., a nationally known forensic psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, died on February 4, 2014 at the age of 73. Beloved mentor, colleague, brother, friend, and father, Dr. Sokolov will be missed by all who came to rely on his intelligence, skill, humor, memory, and compassion. Dr. Sokolov was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. He received his B.A. from Columbia College and an M.D. from the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. After serving as a psychiatrist and Major in the United States Army, he joined the faculty at the University of Cincinnati where he became the Clinical Director of the outpatient Court Psychiatric Center. Additionally, he was a graduate of the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute. During the course of his career, Dr. Sokolov held many significant positions, including Commissioner of Mental Health and Forensic Services at the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) the Director of the Netcare Forensic Psychiatry Center, Medical Director of Harding Hospital, Medical Director of the Office of Forensic Services at ODMH and was appointed at Ohio State University as the first George T. Harding III, M.D. Professor of Clinical Psychiatry. Dr. Sokolov made multiple state, regional, and national presentations, held a variety of consulting positions, authored articles, testified in key Ohio court cases, and contributed to the writing of several legislative statutes, including Competency to Stand Trial, Mental State at the Time of an Offense, Duty to Protect Against Violence Toward Third Parties, and Mental Health Advance Directives. Dr. Sokolov was the recipient of several awards, including the Ohio Forensic Award (2002), the Best Doctors in America (1998-2012), and Ohio State University Outstanding Faculty Awards (2007 and 2010). Recognition of his teaching was what he most prized. He loved to share his insight and wisdom with succeeding generations of psychiatrists, ever hopeful that they would carry on his commitment to psychotherapy and psychodynamics. He was supervising residents up until the last weeks of his life, joking until the end that OSU would never let him resign. He was honored with The Teacher of the Year Award by the OSU psychiatry residents in 2013. Dr. Sokolov was the founding president of the Ohio Forensic Psychiatry Center Directors Association. He was also the first chairperson of the Ohio Psychiatrists' Political Action Committee (OPPAC). Dr. Sokolov was a long time chair of the legislative and ethics committees of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) and was president of the organization in 1989. He is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Preceded in death by his parents Meyer and Annie Sokolov, and son Brad Sokolov. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer (Damon Whittemore) Sokolov and her mother, Diane Sokolov; brother, Sherwin (Barbara) Sokolov; life partner, Dr. Meredith Dobyns; nieces, Dr. Judye (Dr. Matt) Leavitt and Cheryl (Scott) Wolff; nephew, Dr. Mark (Debbie) Sokolov; and best friend, Pete Taylor. Donations in Dr. Sokolov's memory may be made to the Bexley Public Library.

Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Feb. 10, 2014
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