Dr. Valerie Thaler transcribed an oral history from her interview with Dr. Liebe Sokol Diamond, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Dr. Diamond was a trailblazing figure in medicine, as well as in American Jewish life. She died on May 17, 2017, at the age of 86.
Born with a congenital defect that had caused the loss of several fingers and toes before birth, Liebe Sokol Diamond went on to become a leading pediatric surgeon. Diamond underwent more than twenty-five surgeries to correct the effects of ring constrictive syndrome before her 13th birthday, but still managed to enroll at Smith College by age 16. She graduated in 1951 with a BS in chemistry and went on to medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated in 1955 and began working as the first female resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She co-founded the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America in 1971 and served as president of the Maryland Orthopedic Society from 1971–1972. She taught orthopedic surgery at the University of Maryland from 1961–1996 while working at various hospitals in the area. Parents brought their handicapped children from across the country to benefit from both her brilliance as a surgeon and her personal experience overcoming significant disabilities in her own childhood. In 2013 she was inducted into the Jewish Hall of Fame.
Source: The Jewish Women’s Archive, “Liebe Sokol Diamond”