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Peter Reich, former chief of psychiatry at MIT Medical, dies at 82

Peter Reich
Peter Reich
Photo: Brian Hemond/<i>The Tech</i>

Peter Reich, MIT Medical’s chief of psychiatry from 1989 to 2002, passed away in New York’s Adirondack Mountains on Aug. 11 after a battle with leukemia. He was 82.

Reich graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1956 and later served as the head of the Division of Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was also a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Reich’s impact and presence on the MIT campus were widespread during his time here. “He immediately became part of the community and quickly made ties with faculty, deans and administrators,” MIT Medical psychiatrist Lili Gottfried says. “He was incredibly active and engaged.”

“Peter led the Mental Health service in a way that brought the best out of multiple disciplines,” Medical Director William Kettyle says. “He was very forward-thinking and helped develop a platform of care where everyone was working together to support the mental health needs of the community.”

While at MIT, Reich was tremendously dedicated to his staff, patients and the MIT community. “He was a role model and a teacher,” Gottfried says. “He led by example, was graceful in the face of adversity, and always went the extra mile for those under his care.”

After leaving MIT, Reich continued to practice medicine. He had a core of devoted, long-term patients whom he saw regularly until his death.

Reich is survived by his wife Lee, brother Charles, son Daniel, daughter Alice, and four grandchildren.

Donations in his memory may be made to: the Adirondack Council, P.O. Box D-2, Elizabethtown, N.Y. 12932. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 2:00 p.m. in the Wong Auditorium of the MIT Tang Center.

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