Eisenberg, Carola

Alternative names
Active 1977
Active 2006

Biographical notes:

Carola Eisenberg, 1917-, Lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and practicing psychiatrist, served as Dean of Student Affairs at Harvard Medical School for 12 years, beginning in 1978. Eisenberg received her MD in 1944 from the University of Buenos Aires, and completed a fellowship in child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to her tenure at Harvard, Eisenberg served as Dean of Student Affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.); she was the first woman to serve in that position and the first woman to serve on the Academic Council, its highest academic governing authority. Eisenberg participates in human rights missions around the world, and has served as Vice-President of Physicians for Human Rights, an organization that mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice and promotes the right to health for all. The organization shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in the campaign against land mines.

From the description of Personal and professional papers, 1977-2006. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 406917207

Carola Eisenberg (born 1917), B.A., 1933, Liceo Nacional De Senoritas, Buenos Aires, Argentina; M.A., 1935, School of Psychiatric Social Work, Hospicio De Las Mercedes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; M.D., 1944, University of Buenos Aires, is a psychiatrist and medical educator. Eisenberg served as Dean for Student Affairs at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1972 to 1978 (the first woman to hold that position) and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, from 1978 to 1990.

Carola Eisenberg was born Carola Blitzman in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1917. She attended the Liceo Nacional De Senoritas, graduating with a B.A. in 1933 and the Hospicio De Las Mercedes School of Psychiatric Social Work, graduating with an M.A. in 1935. After she was awarded an M.D. from the University of Buenos Aires in 1944, Eisenberg completed a fellowship in child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland (1945-1947), continuing at Johns Hopkins as a psychiatrist in the outpatient department (1947-1950), an Instructor (1958-1966), and later an Assistant Professor (1966-1967) in psychiatry and pediatrics. Eisenberg also had a private practice in Baltimore, Maryland specific to child and adolescent psychiatry (1955-1967) and worked as a consultant in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (1968-). After working as Staff Psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1968-1972), she was appointed the Dean for Student Affairs (1972-1978), the first woman to hold this position. At Harvard Medical School, Eisenberg was the Dean for Student Affairs (1978-1990), Lecturer in Psychiatry (1968-1996), and Lecturer in Social Medicine (1996-2008).

Eisenberg’s professional activities have centered on promoting women in medicine and raising awareness of human rights issues. She is a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association with service on committees such as the Council on Emerging Issues (1974-1979), the Committee on International Abuse of Psychiatry and Psychiatrists (1991-1994), the Committee on Human Rights (1994), and as the Vice Chair on the Council on International Affairs (1995-1998). Among her many honors and awards are the Human Rights Award from the American Psychiatric Association in 2005 and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society in 2005. Eisenberg co-founded and acted as the Vice-President of Physicians for Human Rights in 1986 and served on human rights missions to El Salvador (January 1983, June 1989), Chile (July-August 1986), and Paraguay (May 1988). She is also a member of the Boston Examiner’s Club with services as President (1992–2001).

Eisenberg is the widow of the late Leon Eisenberg, M.D. (1922-2009). She had two children (Alan Edward Guttmacher, M.D. and Laurence Guttmacher, M.D.) with her first husband, Manfred Guttmacher, M.D. (1898-1966).

From the guide to the Carola Eisenberg papers, 1945-2006 (inclusive), 1977-2006 (bulk)., (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.)


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Ark ID:


  • Women physicians
  • Women in medicine
  • Physicians, Women
  • Medical education


  • Psychiatrists


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