Liebe Sokol Diamond, M.D.

Liebe Sokol Diamond was born January 10, 1931, at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, but her story does not begin there. In utero, her mother was afflicted with a rare condition, which resulted in the amputation of many of Dr. Diamond's fingers and toes long before her delivery. At birth, Liebe Sokol and her family would be faced with an unbelievable challenge that would certainly require significant inner strength just to survive.

As an infant she underwent more then 25 individual surgical procedures before she was a teenager. Despite her physical challenges, Dr. Diamond persevered in her academic studies. She was accepted to Smith College in 1947 and became a distinguished student as a Sophie Smith scholar. She ultimately graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. Having established such a fine scholastic record, she was accepted to the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Medical School and graduated with honors in 1955. Her internship and residency began at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, and she returned to the University of Pennsylvania to complete her orthopedic residency in 1960.

Dr. Diamond has always been extremely appreciative of the medical attention she received, and this, coupled with her physical challenges, stimulated her choice to center her career in orthopedics. She began to concentrate her impressive medical and surgical talent in the field of hand and limb deformities in children. This particular area of concentration was completely underserved by the orthopedic community, and she quickly developed a national and international reputation in this field. Her professional interest in the comprehensive care of multiply handicapped children has led Dr. Diamond to undertake significant research in this field, particularly in the orthopedic aspects of genetic diseases. She became a resource for all the pediatricians and orthopedists who faced the heart-wrenching challenges of correcting deformities in the newborn. Dr. Diamond was certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 1963.

Many children who were affected with cerebral palsy had severe hand and limb deformities, which often times subjected them to an extremely difficult existence. Dr. Diamond spent a considerable amount of time consulting with the parents of these children and giving them hope and courage to face the future. Her commitment to these families and the community can be seen through her appointment to many significant organizations: a co-chairman with the State Health Department Advisory sub-committee on hospitalization of crippled children, 1967-68; orthopedic consultant to the Jewish Family and Children's Society; and a member of the advisory board for the Angel's Haven Home for Retarded Children. She has been a perfect example to deformed children and their families of what determination and perseverance could achieve even in light of being "less than perfect."

Many of Dr. Diamond's techniques for correcting limb deformities, such as clubfoot, are frequently quoted today in many standard textbooks of orthopedics. She has also been committed to the teaching of future orthopedic surgeons. Her teaching positions include: assistant instructor in orthopedic surgery at University of Pennsylvania, 1957-60; professor in orthopedic surgery at University of Maryland, 1961-96; and clinical associate professor in pediatrics at University of Maryland, 1991-96.

Dr. Diamond is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery; the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland and Baltimore City and Baltimore County Medical Society; the American Medical Association; and the Maryland Orthopedic Society, of which she was president from 1971-72. In addition, she has served as consultant orthopedic surgeon at Maryland General Hospital and consultant pediatric orthopedist at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Franklin Square Hospital and Union Memorial Hospital.

Her contributions are numerous, but her ability to comfort patients afflicted with various deformities is nothing short of miraculous. Her successes over the many years she has practiced can only be counted in the faces of the thousands of children she has helped.

Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 2006.

© Copyright Maryland State Archives, 2006