Altman, Emil (1873 - 1942)

Altman, Emil (1873 - 1942)

Psychiatrist and Neurologist

As chief medical examiner of New York City’s Board of Education for 17 years, Altman raised a ruckus in 1934 when he declared that 1,500 of the city’s 36,000 teachers were emotionally unstable or insane. He also stated once that there were too many married women teachers, and he advocated for changing the compulsory retirement age for teachers from 70 to 60. Ever mindful of teacher quality as essential to quality education, he tempered his statements with more measured ones. He also practiced neuropsychiatry at Beth Israel Hospital. Born in Hungary, Altman arrived in the United States when he was about ten years old. He taught in public schools at night in order to earn his M.D. from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1895. He authored two books: Neurology and Psychiatry and Brain Atrophies and Later Life.
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