Peter H. Berman

Peter H. Berman, MD

Member Since 1976
Philadelphia, PA
Date of Death: September 1, 2016

Peter H. Berman, 84, of Philadelphia, an eminent senior neurologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor emeritus at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, died Thursday, Sept. 1.  His wife, Lynne, said Dr. Berman died of a heart attack at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Berman's areas of expertise were clinical child neurology and pediatric epilepsy. Among those he treated were young patients with brain disorders and vision problems.

Sam Tucker, a retired pediatric neurologist living in Galena, Md., was second in command when Dr. Berman was chief of the Division of Neurology at CHOP.  "I did the seizure work, measuring seizures; he was a generalist, he did everything," Tucker said.  Over time, the division grew to include patient clinics for epilepsy and muscular dystrophy, as well as premature babies with neurological problems. The doctors stopped short of performing surgery, however.

The men remained friends for 50 years. "He was very likable and humorous, not stuffy," Dr. Tucker said.

A native of Vienna, Austria, Dr. Berman fled the Nazi regime there, and lived in the countryside around London before emigrating to New York's Upper West Side.  His wife said he was drawn to medicine because he wanted to teach. "He couldn't go into surgery because the mask itched his nose," she said.

Over the years, "the thing that gave him the greatest satisfaction professionally was teaching and working with residents in neurology," said son Michael. "He loved it."

Dr. Berman earned his medical degree at New York University College of Medicine.  He performed an internship in pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital, New York City, and a residency in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Hospital, Minneapolis.  He was board certified in child neurology and pediatrics. He started working at CHOP in 1969, according to his Facebook page.

Tucker said he had just spoken to Dr. Berman by phone recently. "He was going to retire the last day of this month," he said.

Tucker said his friend was a former president of the national Child Neurology Society.

Widely published, Dr. Berman wrote on such topics as the immature brain, the nuances of pediatric emergency medicine, and advances in the management of neonatal seizures.

He and his wife met when "he kept staring at me at the Harvard Library," she said. When she got up to take a break, he went through her papers to learn her name and called every university in Boston, finally locating her at Simmons College. He went on to take her to the opera. The two married and had three children.

Besides his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth; a son, John; six grandchildren; and four nieces and nephews.

Published in Philly.com on Sep. 3, 2016
Accessed 20 October 2016