Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Nate Schnaper, MD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry for more than 50 years, passed away on August 23, 2010 after a brief illness. He was 92. Dr. Schnaper, though retired, was still seing patients until just shortly before his death, counseling them at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC).
“He was a much beloved father figure to everyone who worked here,” said Kevin Cullen, MD, professor of Medicine and director of the UMGCC, in an email sent to staff. “From his irascible sense of humor to his omnipresent red socks, Nate was inextricably woven into the fabric of this place.”
According to The Baltimore Sun, Dr. Schnaper was the son of Russian Jewish immigrant parents who was born in a second-floor apartment above his father's
After the war, he entered the
Afterwards, Dr. Schnaper returned to the
“It was tough love, his brand, and he got right down to the problem,” said Dr. Stephen C. Schimpf, clinical professor of Medicine, in the Baltimore Sun obituary for Dr. Schnaper. “But his approach was a very practical one, an approach that helped patients cope with their illnesses, their anxieties, their threat of death and indeed with their death,” he said.
Dr. Schimpf, former director of UMGCC and CEO of the
Patients weren't the only ones whose lives were touched by Dr. Schnaper. “He also helped residents and oncology fellows cope with the issues of an intense training program, but also with their insecurities of entering a field where success is often measured in reducing pain and suffering rather than cure,” Dr. Schimpf said.
In 2003, a summer internship program bearing Dr. Schnaper’s name was established at the UMGCC. This eight-week program for undergraduate students in the arts and sciences matches these aspiring researchers with cancer research mentors to provide the students with the opportunity to become acquainted with cutting-edge areas of research in the current fight against cancer.
Contributions in Dr. Schnaper’s memory may be sent to the Dr. Nathan Schnaper Summer Scholars Program, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center,