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Giants in Chest Medicine |

Introducing Giants in Chest MedicineGiants in Chest Medicine: Alfred Soffer: Alfred Soffer, MD, Master FCCP FREE TO VIEW

James E. Dalen, MD, MPH, ScD (Hon), Master FCCP
Author and Funding Information

James Dalen, MD, MPH, ScD (Hon), Master FCCP, is dean emeritus and professor emeritus from the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Correspondence to: James E. Dalen, MD, MPH, ScD (Hon), Master FCCP, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, 5305 N Via Velazquez, Tucson, AZ 85750; e-mail: jdalenmd@gmail.com


Editor’s Note: Welcome to Giants in Chest Medicine, an occasional series highlighting the accomplishments of a distinguished individual in critical care, sleep, or pulmonary medicine. A recorded interview with Dr Soffer can be found online at journal.publications.chestnet.org

For editorial comment see page 1087

Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Additional information: See video interview of Dr Soffer online at: http://youtu.be/YnKft-1u2MU

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2013;144(4):1104-1105. doi:10.1378/chest.13-1591
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Alfred Soffer, MD, Master FCCP, served as Editor of CHEST for 25 years from 1968 to 1993 and led the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) as its Executive Director for 23 years from 1969 to 1992. His efforts have had a profound impact on the College and on its Journal, CHEST.

During his leadership, the College transitioned from an organization founded in 1935 by Dr Murray Kornfeld, who was a patient with TB, to an international organization of > 18,000 chest physicians—pulmonologists, cardiologists, chest surgeons, and critical care physicians—in > 100 countries. The annual scientific meeting, the international meetings, and the continuing medical education courses drew physicians and scientists from multiple disciplines that treat patients with chest diseases, including pediatrics, anesthesiology, allergy, pharmacy, and hematology. The College became the international leader in cardiopulmonary education programs.

Giants in Chest Medicine, Alfred Soffer, MD, Master FCCP

CHEST Podcast Editor D. Kyle Hogarth, MD, FCCP, interviews former CHEST Editor Alfred Soffer, MD, Master FCCP

Under Dr Soffer’s leadership, the ACCP helped to educate the public about chest diseases, and it became the international leader in the campaign to reduce the prevalence of smoking.

During his tenure, the College was one of the first medical organizations to convene expert conferences that produced evidence-based practice guidelines published in CHEST or as supplements to CHEST. These guidelines have been widely accepted and have improved the quality of care for patients with cardiopulmonary disease throughout the world.

CHEST was first published as Diseases of the Chest in 1935 under the sponsorship of the Federation of American Sanatoria. Its goal was “to be of material aid to the general practitioner in dealing with his tuberculosis patients.” In 1970, Soffer led the name change of the Journal to CHEST, and its focus to all cardiopulmonary diseases and critical care.

He introduced peer review to the Journal, and when he turned over the editorship to the late Jay Block, MD, Master FCCP, the Journal had > 8,000 peer reviewers. As CHEST became the premier cardiopulmonary journal, the number of manuscripts submitted to CHEST per year increased from 300 in 1967 to 2,400 in 1993.

In addition to his positions as Editor of CHEST and Executive Director of the ACCP, he also served as editor of the Archives of Internal Medicine from 1976 until 1986.

When he retired, it took three people to replace him: Alvin Lever as Executive Director of the College and Jay Block as Editor of CHEST. I was honored to assume his other role as editor of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Part of Al’s success as a leader is his outgoing personality and enthusiasm. At every annual meeting of the College, he made it a point to meet with as many attendees as he could (especially the youngest attendees) and welcome them to the College. Many of the young attendees (including me) became active members of the College because of Al Soffer.

Al Soffer’s years as Executive Director of the ACCP and Editor of CHEST had a major impact on graduate medical education and the quality of care for patients with cardiopulmonary diseases throughout the United States and the world.

It is very appropriate that Al Soffer is the first to be named a “Giant in Pulmonary Medicine.” He is a giant.

Olsen AM, Auerbach O, Chadwick D, Paul O, Soffer A, Winsor A. Relationship of smoking to cardiovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease. Dis Chest. 1968;54(3):186-188. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Only one-third reach the hospital. Chest. 1969;55(4):272-273. [CrossRef]
 
Soffer A. Intensive cardiac care and digitalis gylcosides. Chest. 1969;55(4):321-322. [CrossRef]
 
Soffer A. Why a new journal title? Chest. 1970;57(1):1-2. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. International drug fads and clinical vigilance. Chest. 1970;57(3):213-214. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The chest physician and intensive care. Chest. 1971;59(5):474-475. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The nursing professional and management of cigarette smoking problems. Chest. 1971;60(1):1. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Profile of the chest physician: implications of a national survey. Chest. 1972;62(4):383-384. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Editorial preceptorships. Chest. 1974;66(3):221-222. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Chicken soup, sippy milk diets and bed rest for hepatitis. Chest. 1975;67(2):214-215. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Clinician, teacher, investigator–can a specialty journal serve all? Chest. 1975;67(5):507-508. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. “Worthless but harmless” drugs can be deadly. Chest. 1976;69(3):331-332. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Chest–the cardiopulmonary journal. Chest. 1980;77(3):333. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Smoking, the new ACCP fellowship pledge, and preventive medicine. Chest. 1980;77(4):459-460. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The unique role of peer review journals. Chest. 1980;78(4):547-548. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Editorial reviewers: what is their function? Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(10):1867. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The practitioners’ role in detection of adverse drug reactions. Chest. 1984;86(6):808-809. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Smokers’ faces: who are the smokers? Chest. 1986;89(5):622. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Luce JM, Dalen JE, Soffer A. Critical care medicine is here to stay. Chest. 1986;90(3):309-310. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. What constitutes prior publication? Chest. 1987;92(1):2-3. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Topaz O, DiSciascio G, Crowley MJ, et al. Absent left main coronary artery: angiographic findings in 83 patients with separate ostia of the left anterior descending and circumflex arteries at the left aortic sinus. Am Heart J. 1991;122(2):447-452. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Topaz O, Warner M, Lanter P, et al. Isolated significant left main coronary artery stenosis: angiographic, hemodynamic, and clinical findings in 16 patients. Am Heart J. 1991;122(5):1308-1314. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The greatest international killer. Chest. 1992;101(1):1-2. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The changing medical world. Chest. 1992;101(3):593-594. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Can you believe what you read in medical journals? Chest. 1992;101(5):1417-1419. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 

Figures

Tables

Giants in Chest Medicine, Alfred Soffer, MD, Master FCCP

CHEST Podcast Editor D. Kyle Hogarth, MD, FCCP, interviews former CHEST Editor Alfred Soffer, MD, Master FCCP

Suggested Readings

Olsen AM, Auerbach O, Chadwick D, Paul O, Soffer A, Winsor A. Relationship of smoking to cardiovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease. Dis Chest. 1968;54(3):186-188. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Only one-third reach the hospital. Chest. 1969;55(4):272-273. [CrossRef]
 
Soffer A. Intensive cardiac care and digitalis gylcosides. Chest. 1969;55(4):321-322. [CrossRef]
 
Soffer A. Why a new journal title? Chest. 1970;57(1):1-2. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. International drug fads and clinical vigilance. Chest. 1970;57(3):213-214. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The chest physician and intensive care. Chest. 1971;59(5):474-475. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The nursing professional and management of cigarette smoking problems. Chest. 1971;60(1):1. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Profile of the chest physician: implications of a national survey. Chest. 1972;62(4):383-384. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Editorial preceptorships. Chest. 1974;66(3):221-222. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Chicken soup, sippy milk diets and bed rest for hepatitis. Chest. 1975;67(2):214-215. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Clinician, teacher, investigator–can a specialty journal serve all? Chest. 1975;67(5):507-508. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. “Worthless but harmless” drugs can be deadly. Chest. 1976;69(3):331-332. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Chest–the cardiopulmonary journal. Chest. 1980;77(3):333. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Smoking, the new ACCP fellowship pledge, and preventive medicine. Chest. 1980;77(4):459-460. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The unique role of peer review journals. Chest. 1980;78(4):547-548. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Editorial reviewers: what is their function? Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(10):1867. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The practitioners’ role in detection of adverse drug reactions. Chest. 1984;86(6):808-809. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Smokers’ faces: who are the smokers? Chest. 1986;89(5):622. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Luce JM, Dalen JE, Soffer A. Critical care medicine is here to stay. Chest. 1986;90(3):309-310. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. What constitutes prior publication? Chest. 1987;92(1):2-3. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Topaz O, DiSciascio G, Crowley MJ, et al. Absent left main coronary artery: angiographic findings in 83 patients with separate ostia of the left anterior descending and circumflex arteries at the left aortic sinus. Am Heart J. 1991;122(2):447-452. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Topaz O, Warner M, Lanter P, et al. Isolated significant left main coronary artery stenosis: angiographic, hemodynamic, and clinical findings in 16 patients. Am Heart J. 1991;122(5):1308-1314. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The greatest international killer. Chest. 1992;101(1):1-2. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. The changing medical world. Chest. 1992;101(3):593-594. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Soffer A. Can you believe what you read in medical journals? Chest. 1992;101(5):1417-1419. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
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