Jr. MD Biography
Dr. Isidore Cohn was raised in New Orleans in a prominent
surgical family. He received his M.D. and D.Sc. degrees
from the University of Pennsylvania.
Many were surprised when he did not join his father in a
busy uptown surgical practice at Touro Infirmary, but
instead was recruited to a full-time position at LSU by
Dr. Rives in 1952.
Upon Dr. Rives retirement in 1962, Dr. Cohn was named
Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery, a
position that he held continuously for 27 years. His
tenure is among the longest of any major surgery
department head in the history of modern post-graduate
More than 200 surgeons have
completed residency training under Dr. Cohnís direction
and have made major contributions to surgical care and
surgical education throughout Louisiana and the United
He served as president or director of many surgical
organizations, but perhaps is most proud of being named
President of the Southern Surgical Association in 1983.
In June 1987 The Isidore Cohn, Jr. Professorship of
Surgery was dedicated, the first million dollar
chair at LSU Medical School.
When Dr. Cohn stepped down as Chairman of the Department
in 1989, Dr. J. Patrick OíLeary became the first Isidore
Cohn, Jr. Professor and Chairman of the Department of
Surgery. As emeritus professor, Dr. Cohn continued his
teaching and lecturing, as well as offering sage advice
and counsel to all that sought it. A ďRetirement ď Gala in
July 2000, where he was named Emeritus Chairman, was
attended by past residents, faculty, administration,
family members, and a number of prominent surgical leaders
from across the country.
On March 22, 2002 The Isidore Cohn, Jr., M.D. Learning
Center was dedicated. Former surgical residents and The
James D. Rives Surgical Society were the major donors to
this cutting edge facility.
Although heavily damaged by the floodwaters of Hurricane
Katrina, funds have now been secured to allow not only
repairs, but enlargement of the Center, insuring its place
as a lasting tribute to Dr.
Cohnís 55 years of dedicated service to LSU and his
commitment to excellence in teaching and surgical care.
Construction is currently underway for the new and
expanded Isidore Cohn, Jr., M.D. Learning Center on the
Sixth Floor of the Lionís Eye Clinic. It will be directly
above the Center of Advanced Practice (which was opened in
January 2008). The new Isidore Cohn, Jr., M.D, Learning
Center is scheduled to open in Spring of 2009.
It is because of this rich history of service to LSU and
Dr Cohnís commitment to education that the decision was
made to change the name of the society to the Isidore Cohn
Jr.-James D. Rives Surgical Society. This was done not
only to honor Dr Cohn but to perpetuate the society and
continue the goal of fostering camaraderie among its