In Remembrance: Jerome O. Klein ’56MD Died on February 17 2021

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Jerome O. Klein MD passed away on February 17, 2021, having just turned 90 the week before.

Dr. Klein inspired generations of trainees and colleagues in pediatrics and infectious diseases. He was an incredible person who took personal interest in his colleagues and provided them with mentoring, support, and guidance; each becoming part of his professional family. He spent nearly all of his professional career at Boston City Hospital and Boston Medical Center following in the footsteps of his mentor, Dr. Maxwell Finland. He took exceptional pride in being able to care for his patients and to teach his medical students, residents, and fellows; he served as the consummate role model for subsequent generations of physicians. He was especially generous in giving of his time and knowledge to provide guidance for many of them throughout their careers.

Dr. Klein was an emeritus professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and former chief of pediatric infectious diseases at BMC. He had a national and international reputation as an educator and scholar and was the recipient of the Distinguished Physician Award of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the Bristol Award for Distinguished Achievement of the IDSA, Clinician of the Year Award of the Massachusetts ID Society, Lifetime Achievement Award for Clinical Research of the Society of Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children, and the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Klein also was an associate editor at Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He was a distinguished faculty member and physician in pediatric infectious diseases for over 50 years and had more than 500 publications including peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, and books on important topics such as infection in the newborn, otitis media, bacteremia, bacterial pneumonia, meningitis, Haemophilus influenzae, and antimicrobial therapy.

Dr. Klein earned his medical degree from Yale University in 1956 and began his internship in Minneapolis. He then served as a senior assistant surgeon for the CDC before completing his residency training at Boston City Hospital in 1961. He remained at Boston City Hospital, under the tutelage of Dr. Maxwell Finland, first as a research fellow in infectious diseases, visiting physician, and associate director in pediatrics, until being named as the director of pediatric infectious diseases in 1977, a position he held until 1996. Dr. Klein became an emeritus professor of pediatrics at BUSM when he retired in 2017.

In 2011, to honor his legacy and many contributions to Boston City Hospital and Boston Medical Center, the Jerome Klein Award for Physician Excellence was established. This award is presented annually to a physician who shares Dr. Klein’s attributes, commitment, and dedication as an outstanding mentor, clinician, and/or physician scientist, leader, and supportive of colleagues and trainees. Dr. Klein was very well respected by his colleagues—his work family! He was genuine, kind, and truly an inspiration. He was the eternal optimist. He lived his life to the fullest and will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him. Dr. Klein is survived by his wife Linda; their three children Andrea, Adam, and Bennett; son-in-law Zachary; and three grandchildren: Alexander, Evan, and Dana.

Please consider a donation to the Jerome O. Klein Fellowship Fund in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Click on the link for the online giving form; in the box “Click here to Choose A Fund,” insert the name ‘Klein’ to locate the fund.

—Submitted by the family.

2 remembrances

  • Edward B. Lewin, M.D.
    Edward B. Lewin, M.D., 6:13pm December 24 2021 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Jerry Klein was my professor and friend when I was a fellow in pediatric infectious diseases at Boston City Hospital. He was a shining light for all he led....a wonderful physician educator and man. He shall be greatly missed.....EB Lewin, MD

  • Monica J Schaberg MD MPH
    Monica J Schaberg MD MPH, 12:57pm December 27 2021 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I was lucky to train in Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital with Jerry as an Attending Pediatrician and Leader of the Pediatric Infectious Disease team. His logical thinking and relentless attention to detail were important attributes to emulate for an aspiring pediatrician. He was very patient with young doctors and very sensitive to the non-medical needs of patients. And he had a wry sense of humor (will never forget the efforts to demonstrate effects of mycoplasma on fertility of mice). I started missing his erudition and support as soon as I left City. Jerry Klein was one of the two most important mentors in my training.

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