Many of us knew Noah as a presence, a true individual, and one of the nicest guys around. We all knew him as a dermatologist but he also had a law degree with a sparkling CV and more publications and accolades than we can count. Noah was a real doctor, he took care of patients who needed real help, took on serious medical dermatology diseases, and in many ways made it look easy. He was benevolent as a teacher, masterful as a speaker, and prolific as a writer, just to scratch the surface. His legacy in dermatology will be connected to his work in Hidradenitis Suppurativa, but he was one of the earliest pioneers in the cyber age of dermatology as well. The next time you prescribe any biologic agents for HS, you can thank Noah for opening that door for us because he helped patients this way before we even knew it would be an option.
I always liked Noah, he was kind, he was bubbly, and you always knew he was with us...he was a little quirky, but aren't we all? And aren't we going to be worse off without our friend? He came up to me at one of the meetings I was running and said "Neal I want to speak" and without hesitation I told him "Anything you want my man" because I knew despite his sometimes off the wall behavior, he always brought his best...and we will miss that about him as well as his innocent smile and kind soul.
When I heard the news of his death, I sat in my office for a few minutes numb...not just because he meant a lot to the society and to dermatology, not just because he was only three years older than me, and not because it was sudden and we may never know the true cause of his passing...but because we lost our friend, and we won't get to see him again...which is really sad.
Please say a few prayers for our lost friend Noah and his family, and for all of us.
Neal Bhatia, MD On behalf of the Noah Worcester Dermatological Society