Howard Steinbach Memorial Lecture

Now in its 22nd year, this memorial lecture honors the legacy of Howard L. Steinbach, MD, UCSF Professor of Radiology, Medicine and Pediatrics. The inaugural lecture was given in 1996 by Donald L. Resnick, MD.

Howard Steinbach

"Among the many honors that Dr. Steinbach received, the dearest to his heart was the Honorary Fellowship in The Royal College of Radiology of the United Kingdom in 1976."

Past Howard L. Steinbach Lecturers

  • Stacy E. Smith, MD
  • Christopher Beaulieu, MD
  • Miriam A. Bredella, MD
  • William G. Palmer, MD
  • Mark Schweitzer, MD
  • Thomas M. Link, MD, PhD
  • Thomas H. Berquist, MD
  • David M. Panicek, MD
  • Michael P. Recht, MD
  • Christine B. Chung, MD
  • Murali Sundaram, MD
  • Mini N. Pathria, MD
  • Javier Beltran, MD
  • Mark J. Kransdorf, MD
  • Jeremy Kaye, MD
  • Barbara N. Weissman, MD
  • BJ Manaster, MD, PhD
  • Michael J. Pitt, MD
  • Murray K. Dalinka, MD
  • Roy L. Filly, MD
  • James O. Johnston, MD
  • Richard H. Gold, MD
  • Harry K. Genant, MD
  • Donald L. Resnick, MD

About Dr. Howard Steinbach

Howard L. Steinbach, MD

Dr. Howard Steinbach, an internationally recognized radiologist, was probably most renowned for his immense contributions to skeletal radiology and his articles on metabolic bone disease are still considered to be classic.

Those of us at the University of California San Francisco and at Stanford University, who had the privilege of working with him, seeking him for consultations and attending his conferences and lectures, were always impressed by his encyclopedic erudition, incisiveness, ability to get the entire picture of what was happening to the patient, and the clarity of presentation of his diagnoses. His warmth and approachability always made him a hero and role model to residents and young faculty members. Yet there was another side to this complete radiologist, who was one of the few truly great general radiologists of his generation.

Dr. Steinbach developed a progressive hearing disorder that began in his teens. Like Beethoven, he developed, therefore, the power of total concentration and the ability to hear his brilliant lectures in his own mind. After graduating from UCLA in 1940, he went to St. Louis University Medical School, the only medical school in the whole nation that did not require a physical examination for admission. It was then commonly believed that a person who was hard of hearing could not be a good physician as hearing is essential to physical diagnosis. Throughout his preclinical years in medical school, young Howard would sit in the first row during lectures, not hear a word, but pretend to and try to lip read as much as he could. He graduated at the top of his class. After graduation, Dr. Steinbach served a rotating internship at Los Angeles County Hospital, and a residency in The Department of Radiology at UCSF (where he could occasionally be found watching the 49ers next door at Kezar Stadium). He joined the UCSF Department of Radiology faculty where his great talents in observation, inductive and deductive thinking, and ability for complete concentration were impressively apparent.

He rose from Instructor to Professor and was Acting Chairman and then Vice Chairman in the UCSF Department of Radiology. He left in 1969 to become Chief of Radiology at French Hospital while remaining a Clinical Professor of Radiology at UCSF and also joining the clinical faculty at Stanford as a full professor.

Among the many honors that Dr. Steinbach received, the dearest to his heart was the Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College of Radiologists of the United Kingdom. Besides writing and publishing close to 200 well-respected papers, Dr. Steinbach’s books “Tumors of the Endocrine System” and “Roentgen Appearance of the Hand in Diffuse Disease” are still gems making worthwhile, enjoyable reading.

Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Dr. Howard Steinbach are richer for the experience.

- Adapted from a memorial letter written in 1996 by Alexander R. Margulis, MD, Chairman of UCSF Department of Radiology from 1963-1989.