Carola Eisenberg: A Lucky Life

Carola Eisenberg, M.D. (1917 -2021)

Dr. Eisenberg, a psychiatrist, was born with a social conscience. She was descended from Jewish socialist refugees from Czarist Russia and was a native of Argentina, where by her account she was inspired to pursue psychiatry after visiting a mental hospital as a teenager with her father.

Carola with husband and baby son in Baltimore

One of our colleagues, the Mohs miscographic surgeon Dr. Jenny Stone, has warm memories from her student days at Harvard of Carola Eisenberg: “In September 1978, I was a nervous first year student at Harvard Medical School.  In the midst of a flurry of faculty-introductory speeches, one person stood out: Dr. Carola Eisenberg, our new dean of student affairs.  Her warmth and humanity immediately put us at ease.  I’m not sure if we grasped, at the time, that she was as new to Harvard as we were, but we all appreciated how kind and genuine she was with all our subsequent encounters.  She quickly won our love and appreciation.    Our Second Year Show was an opportunity for us to parody and spoof many of our professors.  Faculty could often get upset and threatened with the satire, but not Carola.  When she learned one of our classmates was playing her she loaned the student one of her own signature skirts for more authenticity.  My classmate nailed the role, the skit was all in good fun and Carola laughed uproariously in the audience at the performance. 
We all mourn the loss of one of our most beloved dean.”

Carola Eisenberg’s NY Times Obituary is a fine tribute to an extraordinary woman. For those with the time and interest, here is a short video of Carola looking back on her life at around age 92.

Screenshot of Carola Eisenberg circa 2010
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