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Sidney and Theodora Yudin - Medical Ethics Library

Dr. Sidney and Theodora Yudin
Dr. Sidney and Theodora Yudin

About Sidney Yudin, PhD

Dr. Sidney Yudin, staff psychologist and former chief psychologist at Bellevue Hospital Center, was born on July 7, 1920 in Brooklyn, NY.

Dr. Yudin did his undergraduate work at Brooklyn College and was drafted while still in school. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II (1942–1946) and completed his BA in psychology after the war, graduating in 1947.

Dr. Yudin went on to earn an MA ('48) and a PhD ('57) in clinical psychology from NYU. While studying at NYU, Dr. Yudin met his future wife, Theodora, who was also studying for her master's degree in clinical psychology. At NYU, Sidney was a pupil of David Wechsler, who is best known for developing the widely used Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Dr. Yudin was later called the “historical conservator of the Wechsler tradition” by a Bellevue colleague.

Dr. Yudin was among the first psychologists to be certified in New York State, holding license number 446.

Apart from two years at the University of Michigan, Dr. Yudin spent nearly his entire career at Bellevue, a so-called “creature of Bellevue." He served as Clinical Assistant Professor from 1965 to 1971 and was promoted to Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology in 1971. He was named chief psychologist after David Wechsler retired. Dr. Yudin was also an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor at the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Fordham University and the City University of New York.

In addition to his work as a clinician, Dr. Yudin was a dedicated teacher, serving as director of the internship program. He received high praise in a report of an on-site re-accreditation visit by the American Psychological Association:

"Actual direction of the program remains with Dr. Yudin, who supervises many of the students in their clinical work, provides personal counseling when needed and “runs interference” for students who are having troubles on the wards to which they are assigned. I have visited few internship facilities at which the training director received higher marks from his or her charges than NYU-Bellevue. Dr. Yudin is seen as a concerned, compassionate, dedicated man who is also technically proficient and interpersonally facilitative. Most remarkable, he remains willing to go to bat for students who run into administrative hassles, an uncommon attribute among any of us! Clearly Dr. Yudin lends inestimable strength to the program."

Dr. Yudin established a monthly Psychology Colloquium. His interest in medical ethics grew from his attendance at Dr. Arthur Zitrin’s colloquia on the subject.

Sidney had a lifetime love of learning and was a self-directed learner from a very young age. As a child, he participated and won prizes in a program at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, to which he credited his early intellectual interest and growth. In later years, even after completing his Ph.D., Dr. Yudin attended classes at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and the New School for Social Research as a non-matriculant.

He also loved the arts and was an admirer of classical music, cabaret music, ballet, theater, and film. He was an accomplished singer; those who knew him as the reserved professor and clinician were often surprised to learn that he enjoyed singing popular tunes from 1940s and 1950s.

Dr. Yudin passed away on December 10, 1987.

About Theodora Yudin, MA

Theodora Yudin, Sidney’s wife, was born on March 7, 1925, in New York City. She received a bachelor's degree from Hunter College and a master's in clinical psychology from NYU.

It was at NYU that she met Sidney Yudin in 1948. The two were married in November 1950, during one of the heaviest blizzards of the 20th century.

Theodora had a long and rewarding career, working for 33 years at the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) as a school psychologist in special education. Theodora continued her professional development at NYU, earning 60 postgraduate credits.

Like Sidney, Theodora is a lifelong learner, and has exhausted the course offerings in the field of Italian history at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Her strong commitment to NYU continues in her role as a member of the University’s Alumni Association Board.

Theodora honors Sidney’s memory and his life of service to NYU and Bellevue by establishing the Sidney and Theodora Yudin Medical Ethics Library.