Wednesday, November 27, 2013
An investiture ceremony was held on November 18, 2013 to award Christopher Harman, MD, the prestigious Sylvan Frieman, MD Endowed Professorship in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. Dr. Harman is Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and Director of the Center for Advanced Fetal Care, which is nationally recognized for its cutting edge therapy and management of complex maternal medical problems.
“Let me congratulate Dr. Harman on his collective accomplishments over the years,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the School of Medicine. “His career has blossomed into one that has brought great pride to the School of Medicine, the department and the university as a whole,” said Dean Reece, who presented Dr. Harman with a special medal symbolizing the professorship.
A distinguished and highly regarded physician-scientist, Dr. Harman has conducted extensive research aimed at improving high risk pregnancy care. Dr. Harman is a member of the team that developed the Biophysical Profile Score, the method of assessing fetal health used around the world. He has published extensively on fetal medicine and published an internationally recognized textbook on fetal therapy.
"Thank you for associating me with Sylvan Frieman,” said Dr. Harman. “This gives me the opportunity to personally recognize him every day, so I am humbled by the honor."
Born and raised in Baltimore, the late Dr. Sylvan Frieman graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1953 and decided on obstetrics and gynecology as a specialty. Throughout a long and illustrious career as a physician and educator, he never forgot his alma mater. He served on the school’s Board of Visitors and was elevated to chairman in 1998. Dr. Frieman was a tireless supporter of the Medical Alumni Association. He served on the alumni board and frequently organized reunions. In 2005, Dr. Frieman established the Endowed Professorship in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. In 2006, he was awarded the Dean’s Gold Medal and the University of Maryland Illustrious Alumni Award.
Colleagues and family members attended the Westminster Hall ceremony and spoke eloquently about Dr. Frieman’s many contributions to the field of OB/GYN and his lifelong commitment to the School of Medicine. His son, Dr. Robert Frieman, spoke about his father’s influence and legacy as a great physician and man. “The professorship is truly a fitting achievement to crown a lifetime of dedicated service to patients, the university and humanity.” In appreciation of the Frieman family’s support, Dean Reece presented a framed replica of the investiture medal to Dr. Frieman’s widow, May.
Colleagues reflected on Dr. Harman’s accomplishments and character, and the importance of the professorship. Among the speakers were Frank Manning, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College, Ahmet A. Baschat, MB, ChB, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Larry Pitrof, Executive Director of the Medical Alumni Association of the University of Maryland.
In his acceptance remarks, Dr. Harman mentioned his close relationship with Dr. Frieman, who volunteered his time at the Penn Street clinic, working side by side with Dr. Harman. “He provided inspiration and counseling,” said Dr. Harman. “I learned a lot about being a doctor and being a leader.” Dr. Harman said Dr. Frieman brought gentleness, respect and warmth to all of his encounters with patients, students and residents. “I hope that by being a recipient of the Sylvan Frieman Endowed Professorship, I can be a little bit like him.”