Lawrence S. Cohen, M.D., HS ’65, taught his last class on September 15 in “Learning Heart Sounds,” a module he has taught for 39 years. “When I got here 30 years ago, Larry was known in the community as the King of Hearts,” said Margaret J. Bia, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Clinical Skills Training Program, who was present at the class. She then presented a gift to Cohen—a singing teddy bear inscribed with the words “Larry Cohen, M.D., King of Hearts.”
Cohen, the Ebenezer K. Hunt Professor of Medicine, led the early Yale trials of thrombolytics—clot-busting medications used to combat coronary disease, strokes, and heart attacks. Since the mid-1970s, Cohen has overseen some two dozen trials of heart disease treatments. His expertise is in cardiology, but members of the medical community have long sought Cohen’s advice on a range of topics.
In 1991, then-Dean Leon E. Rosenberg, M.D., HS ’63, asked Cohen to serve as deputy dean, a role he continued to fill under deans Robert M. Donaldson Jr., M.D., and Gerard N. Burrow, M.D. ’58, HS ’66. Cohen has also been a special advisor to three deans, including current Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., Ensign Professor of Medicine.
Beginning in 1996, Cohen worked with the school’s ombudsperson, Merle Waxman, M.A., to train more than 1,000 postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and faculty in ethical issues related to the conduct of research.
Cohen continues to serve as a faculty member and practicing cardiologist. He will remain a member of the admissions and progress committees and will continue in mentorship roles.
Daniel L. Jacoby, M.D. ’00, assistant professor of medicine (cardiology), succeeds Cohen as instructor of “Learning Heart Sounds.” “It is remarkable that Larry Cohen has left such an imprint. He comports, with his composure and his way of communicating, the most professional demeanor you could possibly have as a physician,” said Jacoby, who attended “Learning Heart Sounds” as a medical student at Yale in the 1990s.