Sometimes it takes a little extra work and a little more help to get to the heart of a medical condition. That’s why Frederic Silverman, MD, Cincinnati Children’s first director of pediatric radiology, called in his dog to consult with patients. Despite Dr. Silverman’s many years in radiology and radiology research, he used his dog as a "bone specialist" to help put kids who might be scared and nervous at ease.
And when his trusty pooch couldn’t help him get to the bottom of a case, Dr. Silverman dug deeper, making house calls to confirm what the radiology reports were trying to tell him.
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when pediatricians didn’t talk about child abuse. Luckily, pioneers like Dr. Silverman worked hard to make sure doctors took on the responsibility of keeping kids safe. His efforts helped to prove the science behind radiology and child abuse.
His incredible work helped make Cincinnati Children’s pediatric radiology program one of the largest in the nation, but his work to treat and protect children from child abuse was his passion. He was among the first pediatric radiologists to use X-ray reports to investigate and diagnose abuse, and publish landmark articles the field.
“He was completely dedicated to improving the health and welfare of children,” says his niece, Sally. "That drive led him to push beyond conventional methods to make sure the children he treated were cared for the best way possible.”
And even though Dr. Silverman retired from Cincinnati Children’s more than 40 years ago, his impact can still be felt today. In addition to his innovation in helping victims of abuse, Dr. Silverman included Cincinnati Children’s in his estate plans. When he passed away in 2006, his gift created the Dr. Frederic N. and Carolyn Silverman Endowed Chair for Radiology Education. The endowment enables more doctors to research how radiology can help improve the health of children.
Because of Dr. Silverman’s pioneering work, dedication to children, and his significant investment in the future of pediatric research, more children in Cincinnati and around the world are happy, healthy and safe.