From 1990 until 2013, the name David S. Rosen, M.D., M.P.H. was synonymous with the words “adolescent medicine” here at the University of Michigan. Accounts from patients, family members, colleagues, and friends are unanimous in underscoring Rosen’s extraordinary dedication.
“What distinguished David’s life’s work in medicine and probably every other endeavor was his selfless devotion,” said Dr. Valerie Opipari, the Ravitz Foundation Endowed Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases and chair of the Department of Pediatrics.
A native of Southfield, Michigan, Dr. Rosen earned his undergraduate and medical school degrees from the U-M. After residencies in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at St. Louis University and fellowship training in Adolescent Medicine at the University of Minnesota, where he also earned a master of public health degree, he returned to the U-M in 1990 as a faculty member, ultimately serving as professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry.
His vision and leadership were instrumental to the development of the eating disorders treatment program at Michigan, and his work culminated in the establishment of a Division of Adolescent Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. He authored 60 publications and served as an editor for Pediatrics in Review, Adolescent Health Update and the premier textbook for Adolescent Medicine, Adolescent Health Care: A Practical Guide.
As a third-year medical student in 1991, Dr. Terry Bravender, who is now chief of Adolescent Medicine and the inaugural David S. Rosen Collegiate Professor of Adolescent Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, remembers meeting Dr. Rosen when he was a new faculty member: “I was impressed with his approach to the patient, his empathetic understanding, and his ability to connect.” Dr. Bravender was one of many students through the decades whose life was forever changed after meeting Dr. Rosen.
Dr. Rosen helped class after class of pediatric, psychiatry and internal medicine doctors-in-training appreciate what teenagers reveal in the subtleties of the gestures, mannerisms, and communication styles they use in their interactions with physicians. He has influenced a generation of physicians to be the best they can be. During his tenure at Michigan, he received numerous teaching awards including the Department of Pediatrics’ 1992 Faculty Teaching Award, the Medical School’s 1995 Galens Medical Society Silver Shovel Award, and the Kaiser Permanente 1996 Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching.
In March 2013, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine conferred its highest honor, the Outstanding Achievement Award in Adolescent Medicine to Dr. Rosen. Dr. Debra Katzman, the president of SAHM said at the time "Dr. Rosen will be remembered for his remarkable humanity, his passion, his eternal optimism, his enormous contributions to adolescent health and by the countless adolescents and young adults whose lives he touched."
In recognition of his contributions to the medical school's combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics training program, the David S. Rosen Award for Humanism in Medicine was created in 2013. Each year it recognizes a graduating Med/Peds resident who embodies the attributes of kindness, compassion and humility as exemplified by Dr. Rosen.
Outside of medicine, Dr. Rosen was a lifelong and highly skilled photographer whose pictures have been published, exhibited and collected. Several of his own works were included in the exhibit Suspended Moments: Photographs from the David S. Rosen Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in October 2014. The exhibit included 25 photographs from his personal collection of 225 prints from all photographic genres which was subsequently donated to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. His own work adorns the Department of Pediatrics office as well as this webpage.
After dedicating his prodigious talents to the U-M community for decades, he left an additional and lasting legacy: estate gifts that will carry forward the spirit and substance of his work into perpetuity. We welcome you to celebrate his life by contributing in his honor to the funds he created below, both of which will have a lasting impact on work with children and adolescents in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan.
This fund supports a faculty member in memory and honor of David S. Rosen, M.D., M.P.H.
"He made everyone he knew a better person,” Opipari said at Rosen’s funeral. "David had the interest and the skills to look inside—to see each patient, friend, and colleague as an entire person."