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Oberndorf, C.P. (1943). Max David Mayer. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 24:192.
(1943). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 24:192
Max David Mayer
C. P. Oberndorf
Dr. Max David Mayer died on May 28, 1943. He was one of the few members of the American Psychoanalytic Association whose main interest and energy belonged to another medical specialty, for he was a competent and distinguished gynæcologist and obstetrician as well as an accredited psycho-analyst.
Dr. Mayer graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1917 and, after an internship at Mount Sinai Hospital, entered general practice. In 1923 he decided to specialize in gynæcology and obstetrics and spent a year in Vienna to perfect himself in this field. While in Viena he underwent an analysis by Dr. Otto Rank and married Eleanor Sanford who, with two children, survives him.
From 1924, when Dr. Mayer returned to New York, he took special interest in those disorders in his specialty which are dependent upon unconscious psychic factors and often his therapy for psychogenic gynæcological manifestations went beyond persuasion and interpretation to deep and prolonged analysis.
In 1937 Dr. Mayer became Associate Gynecologist to the Mount Sinai Hospital which position he held at the time of his death. His main scientific contributions were in the realm of gynæcology—among them we may note Pregnancy After Bilateral Tubal Ligation in 1932 and The Status of Psycho-therapy in Gynecological Practice in 1937.
Dr. Mayer's thinking on many gynæcological problems, the meaning of illness to the patient, and the therapy he advocated were far in advance of some of his more conservative colleagues. In addition to high professional attainments in the field of gynæcology and surgery, he took an active rôle in social movements, such as birth control, pre-natal care and the instruction of young physicians in the broader aspects of gynæcology. A man of warm loyalties, high integrity and deep faith in his work, he had the courage to espouse openly and firmly principles in which he believed, notwithstanding that his views often meant for him personal difficulty and sacrifice.
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