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Carroll Brodsky

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Carroll M. Brodsky

December 23, 1922 - August 12, 2014

Dr. Carroll M. Brodsky died peacefully at his home in San Francisco on August 12, 2014, at the age of 91. His wife of 39 years, Herma Hill Kay, was at his side.
Carroll was born into a family of four children in Lowell, Massachusetts, on December 23, 1922. His parents, Cy and Bella Brodsky, and his three older siblings immigrated to the US. After graduating from Lowell High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942 and served until 1946. He enrolled in Catholic University of America and earned a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology there, finishing in 1954. He later moved to San Francisco, where he earned an M.D. at the University of California, San Francisco, and specialized in Psychiatry, with a residency at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCSF. In 1960, he joined the UCSF Department of Psychiatry as a Clinical Instructor, rising to the rank of Professor of Psychiatry in 1972. He created a course on Social and Cultural Basis of Illness Behavior, a subject that drew on his training in anthropology and medicine. He regularly taught courses to UCSF students and residents on Interviewing Skills and Occupational Psychiatry. He also served as a dissertation advisor in Medical Anthropology, both at UCSF and UC Berkeley.

Known for his wonderful sense of humor and deep insight into the human condition, Carroll was a popular teacher who inspired his students to achieve their best work. He was much in demand as a lecturer and frequently delivered invited lectures to national organizations. He was a prolific author, publishing articles on long term work stress that included one on Long-term work stress in teachers and prison guards that insightfully compared similar conditions experienced by workers in seemingly different occupations. His 1976 book, The Harassed Worker was a path-breaking analysis of well over a thousand cases filed in California and Nevada for Worker's Compensation by workers who stated that they were ill and injured or unable to work because of ill-treatment by employers, coworkers, or consumers, or because of excessive demands for work output. His study was one of the first monographs that helped create the now-flourishing field known as harassment, with its sub-fields of harassment based on sex, race, sexual orientation, age, and disability.
Carroll continued to practice psychiatry for over 50 years, retiring shortly before his 90th birthday. His professional contributions live on in the lives of his patients, students, and colleagues. He had a marvelous way of making everyone with whom he talked feel special about themselves.
Carroll is survived by his wife, Herma, and by three sons, Michael, John, and Tom, as well as four grandchildren, Jessica, Alexander, Adam, and Matthew. His East Coast relatives include his nephews, Stanley Brodsky, Howard Brodsky, and nieces, Barbara Brodsky, and Selma Grosser. The family is planning a Memorial Service to be held in San Francisco during Columbus Day weekend, on Sunday, October 12.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 24, 2014
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