Albert B. Gerbie, MD

John Paul Gusdon


Dr. Albert B. Gerbie was born November 10, 1927, and died October 15, 2007, only a few hours after his wife, Barbara, died.  Dr. Gerbie was born in Toledo, the child of immigrant parents.  Dr. Gerbie attended the University of Toledo from 1944-1946 and George Washington University from 1946-1947.  He attended George Washington School of Medicine from 1947-1951.  During his medical school enrollment, Dr. Gerbie was also in the military.  As part of his military duties, he was assigned to Walter Reed Army Hospital’s White House Staff as a laboratory technician.

Following medical school graduation, Dr. Gerbie was an intern at Michael Reese Hospital from 1951-1952.  He was then invited to become a preceptee (not a resident physician) in obstetrics and gynecology with three nationally famous Chicago Ob/Gyn physicians, Drs. Ralph Reis, Joseph Baer and Edwin DeCosta.  Dr. Gerbie joined these individuals as a partner at the conclusion of his preceptorship and started his Ob/Gyn practice in Chicago at the Passavant Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University.

It was at Northwestern that Dr. Gerbie began his nationally and internationally recognized career.  It was also where his brother, Dr. Melvin Gerbie, joined him in an obstetrics and gynecology practice.  In 1970, Dr. Al Gerbie was one of the first U.S. physicians to perform genetic amniocentesis.  He published more than 100 articles in the Ob/Gyn literature from 1953-2000.  Dr. Gerbie became an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in 1952 and a Professor in 1972, and he served as Head of Graduate and Continuing Education for Ob/Gyn at Northwestern University School of Medicine from 1974-1992.  In gratitude for his dedication and excellence as an educator, Northwestern University established the Albert B. Gerbie, MD, Professorship in Obstetrics and Gynecology.  He served as the Editor for ACOG-Current Journal Review and Associate Editor for Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics.  He was also an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Dr. Gerbie received the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Distinguished Service Award in 1991.  He also served on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Gerbie became a Board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in 1960, and he became an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1963.  This resulted in a 40-year devotion to the ABOG where he served as an examiner for more than 25 years.  He became a Director of ABOG in 1975, Vice President from 1978-1981, Assistant to the Director of Evaluation from 1982-1989 and 1996-1998, President from 1990-1994, Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1988-1990 and 1994-1996, and finally historian from 1988-2000.

The above is a mere outline of the career of a truly grand and glorious person and physician.  Al was loved and respected by all who came into contact with him.  He delivered three generations of babies for the staff, medical students and resident physicians at Northwestern.  He trained three generations of physicians and, through the ABOG, helped set the standards of care for the health care of American women.

Submitted by Sherman Elias, MD

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