Dr. S David Kahn, Harvard AB 1950, MD 1954

Memorial Service and Reception


S David Kahn, MD, of Atlanta, GA, passed away peacefully at home on December 18, 2016.
Dr. Kahn was a long time board member of the Harvard Club of Georgia and served as President 1996-97.

Harvard Club Members and friends of David are invited to attend his memorial service and following reception at
H. M. Patterson and Son Spring Hill Chapel, on Saturday, April 29, at 11:00 am.

Dr. S David Kahn was a well known, highly respected and beloved Atlanta senior psychiatrist and psychoanalyst as well as the author of a number of published professional papers relating to his many research endeavors.  He practiced psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Atlanta for almost fifty years helping thousands of people. 
Dr. Kahn was an innovator as is reflected in his many and varied accomplishments.  He graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude in 1950 having written his undergraduate thesis on Extra Sensory Perception. While designing his testing for this paper, he consulted with the skeptical B. F. Skinner. 
As a third year medical student at Harvard Medical School,  Dr. Kahn wondered if cooling the brain during neurosurgery would allow the surgeon additional time in the brain during surgery without causing brain damage.  His idea led to his paper on cold brain surgery Circumvention of Anoxia During Arrest of Cerebral Circulation for Intracranial Surgery, with W.M. Lougheed, published in 1955 in the Journal of Neurosurgery (which has since been referenced at least 3000 times).  After first being tested on dogs, the technique was used on a human patient successfully.  Cold brain neurosurgery is still used around the world today. 
After graduating from medical school in 1954, Dr. Kahn Interned at Bellevue Hospital in New York from 1954-1955.  He did his psychiatric residency at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn from 1955-1957, and was the Chief Resident at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City from 1957-1958.  He took his psychoanalytic training at Columbia University and was certified in 1966.  Dr. Kahn was the didactic analysand of the leading American psychoanalyst and author, Dr. Abra Kardiner, who had been an analysand of Sigmund Freud’s.   
Dr. Kahn served in the Army from 1958-1960 in the rank of Captain.  He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service for his experimental project in reduction of military offender population. 
From 1960 to 1961, Dr. Kahn served as Head of the In-patient Service at Montefiore Hospital in New York City.  In 1961 he established the first day psychiatric hospital program in the US at Montefiore, which allowed patients to be in a structured setting during the day while being able to go home at night.
In 1967, Dr. Kahn moved to Atlanta to conduct research at Emory, where he was the first to introduce computers to psychophysiological research.  A few years later, he established a private practice.  He saw patients until just weeks before he died.  Dr. Kahn passed away peacefully at home on December 18, 2016. 
Dr. Kahn is preceded in death by his late wife, Caroline Phelps Kahn, and is survived by Susan Phillips and her daughter, Callen Phillips. He is also survived by daughter, Cynthia Kahn of Fernandina Beach, FL; son, David Beecher (Krista) Kahn of Tallahassee, FL; grandchildren: Elana Karol, Ryan Kahn, Megan Kahn, and Ava Kahn; brother, Richard (Elaine) Kahn of Montauk, NY.


Saturday, 04/29/17 at 11:00am | iCal


H. M. Patterson and Son Spring Hill Chapel
1020 Spring Street N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30309

[ Get Directions ]