CAMBRIDGE, MASS.-Dr. Leonard Wolsky, 73, of Boston and Wellfleet, who had a private practice in internal medicine in Woburn for 25 years and was later a staff member in the MIT Medical Department and several Boston-area hospitals, died of cancer on September 10 at the MIT infirmary.
The son of Abraham and Sophie Wolsky, Dr. Wolsky grew up in Roxbury and attended Boston Latin School and Harvard College (class of 1944). After his junior year, he entered Harvard Medical School and received his medical degree in 1946. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. After his internship and assistant residency at Beth Israel Hospital, he served in the US Army Medical Corps at Ft. Riley, Kan., and in Japan, where he was chief of the Medical Section at Osaka Hospital.
On his return to Boston in 1951, Dr. Wolsky became a research fellow at Beth Israel and then a senior resident at the West Roxbury VA Hospital. The first board-certified internist to settle in Woburn, he soon developed a busy practice and served as chief of medicine and president of the medical staff at Choate Memorial Hospital, where he was instrumental in developing an intensive-care facility. He was also affiliated with the Winchester, Mt. Auburn and Beth Israel Hospitals, and he held teaching appointments at Harvard and Tufts Medical Schools.
As his practice grew, several younger doctors joined him and the group evolved into Woburn Medical Associates. Dr. Wolsky left private practice in 1974, joining the staff of the Hebrew Rehabilitation Hospital in Roslindale, and later, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. In 1980, he joined the MIT Medical Department, where he remained until his retirement in 1991, and continued afterward to serve as a patient advocate and member of the MIT Human Studies and Pre-Medical Advisory Committees. Most recently he was a consultant for the Massachusetts rehabilitation Commission.
"Dr. Wolsky was a wonderful colleague, greatly admired for his enormous intellect and fund of medical knowledge," said Dr. Arnold Weinberg, director of the MIT Medical Department. "He could always be counted on to be on the right side of ethical issues. He really was the patient's advocate-very caring and hard-working."
Dr. Wolsky was a member of the Visiting Committee of the Department of Classical Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a trustee of Hebrew College in Brookline, and a director of the International Catacomb Society. For several years he was invited to present a series of lectures on Biblical history and literature at Regis College in Weston.
He is survived by his wife, Florence (Zundell), his son Alfred and daughter-in-law Linda (LeBlanc) of Woburn, his daughter Liza of New York, and his brother Sumner of Boca Raton, Fla.
Dr. Wolsky was buried at Mt. Auburn cemetery in Cambridge. A memorial service for him will be held Friday, Sept. 27 at the MIT Chapel.