Perry Robins, MD, saved our skin — literally. The world-renowned surgeon took on an enemy of unimaginable power: the sun. At a time when most people worshipped a sun-kissed glow, the medical techniques and messages Dr. Robins promoted had the power to affect every human being on the planet.
Born in Newark during the Great Depression, Perry Robins never had it easy, but he always made the best of it. Struggling in school with dyslexia and grueling part-time jobs, being drafted by the Army and sent overseas—none of the obstacles life threw his way could slow him down.
After his medical training from Germany to NYU, Dr. Robins studied a type of skin cancer surgery invented by Frederic Mohs, MD, at the University of Wisconsin. He brought the technique back to NYU and established the first fellowship program in Mohs surgery. Despite resistance, Dr. Robins upended conventional wisdom in the medical community by showing dermatologists that they could be skin cancer surgeons.
He took on skin cancer at a time when few people were aware of it, and when fashion dictated a “deep, dark, sexy” tan. He taught Mohs surgery, now the gold standard of treatment, to physicians in the U.S. and around the world. He created international alliances as well as the first charitable foundation devoted to educating people about skin cancer, using his own hard-earned money. He cured cancers (47,000 of them in his 40-plus years of practice at NYU), changed people’s perceptions about the sun and made friends all over the world as a professor, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
To celebrate the 40th birthday of The Skin Cancer Foundation, Dr. Robins is donating proceeds from all sales of his memoir to the Foundation he founded in 1979.