Psychiatrist Jarl Dyrud, MD, 1921-2001

Psychiatrist Jarl Dyrud, MD, 1921-2001

August 28, 2001

An expert at combining the merits of psychoanalysis with other forms of psychiatric treatment, Jarl E. Dyrud, MD, professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry and the college and a former associate dean for faculty affairs in the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago, died at his Hyde Park home on August 26, 2001 from a heart attack. He was 79.

In addition to being an authority on the teaching and practice of psychoanalysis, Dr. Dyrud was known for his pragmatic, common-sense approach to therapy and his ability to bring together the best of psychotherapy with behavioral and medical treatments to meet the needs of specific patients.

"He was more interested in the patient than in the theory and this made him a dedicated physician for his patients and a superb consultant for other psychiatrists," said colleague Harry Trosman, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University. "He had a remarkable ability to zero in, to get to the heart of the matter and then provide practical solutions."

"He taught us more about living than about psychiatry, and he taught us more about psychiatry than we imagined was possible," said Ed Cook, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago and a former student of Dr. Dyrud's. "Generations of psychiatrists have attempted to emulate his therapeutic presence."

Dr. Dyrud was also known by his academic colleagues as someone with interests that extended far beyond psychiatry. "He had broad humanistic interests," noted Don Browning, PhD, the Alexander Campbell Professor in the Divinity School at the University. "He was extremely literate, quite interested in poetry and thoroughly conversant with religious literature and practice, which he somehow held together with his clinical and therapeutic skills."

Jarl Edvard Dyrud was born in Maddock, North Dakota, on October 20, 1921. He graduated summa cum laude from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, in 1942 and received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1945. He was an intern in surgery and psychiatry at Hopkins from 1945 to 1946, then spent two years in the United States Navy where he was assistant chief of psychiatry for the Middle Atlantic States Branch Office. He completed residencies in psychiatry at Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, Maryland, from 1949 to 1951, and at the Spring Grove State Hospital in Catonsville, Maryland, from 1952 to 1953. He taught at Howard University from 1947 to 1968 and practiced at Chestnut Lodge Hospital from 1951 to 1968, where he became director of research.

Dr. Dyrud was recruited to the University of Chicago in 1968 and quickly rose through the ranks, serving on numerous university committees. He served as associate chairman of the department of psychiatry from 1974 to 1978 and as associate dean for faculty affairs in the division in 1978 to 1981. He was awarded the prestigious Gold Key Award by the Medical Alumni Association in 1995 for distinguished service to the University.

Dr. Dyrud was also active in national psychiatric organizations, serving on a National Academy of Sciences committee on the impact of behavioral therapy on the field of psychiatry and a review board for the National Institute of Mental Health. He was a trustee of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and served as chairman of the Academy's research committee.

The author or co-author of many journal articles, Dr. Dyrud was co-editor, with Daniel X. Freedman, of the American Handbook of Psychiatry volume on treatment (1975).

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Rose, who is supervisor of housing services for the University; one son, Jarl Dyrud, Jr., 47, of Cincinnati, who is also a psychiatrist; two daughters, Anne Clark, 40, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, and Christine Schlunk, 38, of Brentwood, Tennessee; and six grandchildren.

There will be an opportunity for visiting at Bond Chapel, on the University of Chicago campus, at 3 p.m. on Friday, August 31, 2001, followed by funeral services at 4 p.m.