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From the Archives | September 2011

Faculty members admire a sculpture, “The Fall of Icarus,” by P&S student Bard Cosman’55 (second from right) at the 1954 medical center art exhibit. Looking on, from left, are Drs. Samuel R. Detwiler, Allen O. Whipple, Meyer M. Melicow, and Henry S.F. Cooper. After graduation, Dr. Cosman trained in general surgery at Roosevelt and plastic & reconstructive surgery at Columbia. He spent his entire career at Columbia, says his son Bard Cosman’87, mostly as the partner of George Crikelair, the longtime plastic surgery division chief. “As a sculptor, he had several shows at Caravan House gallery,” says the younger Dr. Cosman (“He was Bard, and I’m Bard Clifford, to distinguish”). Afflicted by lymphoma, the elder Dr. Cosman retired at age 49 and took up stone sculpture. “Most of his work, like the one in the picture, was in plaster, and it would be reproduced in bronze for buyers,” says his son. He taught anatomy in the P&S first-year course during his brief retirement, sculpted until the day he died, and died Aug. 14, 1983, at age 52, says his son. “He is still remembered as the describer of the ‘Cosman ear’ (question-mark ear deformity) and as a prolific contributor to the plastic and reconstructive surgical clinical literature. Most of his articles were illustrated with his own drawings.” His wife, Dr. Madeleine Pelner Cosman, died in 2006, and a daughter, Marin Cosman Vaida, lives in Scarsdale N.Y. Bard Clifford Cosman graduated from P&S in 1987 then trained in general surgery at Stanford and colon and rectal surgery at the University of Minnesota. He joined UC San Diego in 1995 and is now professor of clinical surgery at UCSD and chief of the Halasz General Surgery Section at the San Diego VAMC. “Like my Dad, I’m an academic clinician and teach anatomy to medical students. Interested in intersections between surgery and the humanities. Married to Dr. Pamela Cosman, four sons, typical surgical hobbies of biking and ultramarathon running,” he reports from Southern California.