In Memoriam: Linda Alperstein, LCSW

We sadly announce the death of Linda Perlin Alperstein, LCSW, on November 20, 2018, following a short hospitalization at the age of 80. Beloved for her teaching, mentoring, and consulting, she worked extensively with UCSF Psychiatry interns and residents learning couples counseling as an volunteer associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry.

Linda trained in the newly developed specialty of sex therapy at the UCSF Human Sexuality Program in 1975, and was recruited several years later by Nancy Kaltreider, MD, and David Bullard, PhD, to help re-design "Sexual Issues in Medical Practice," a then-required 23-hour course for second year medical students, as well as pharmacy and nursing students.

Linda co-taught this course from 1990–1996, and—as she later would state with a grin—“nearly died in the process.” With great timing, she managed to have a sudden major cardiac event while teaching onstage in Cole Hall in 1995, where her life was saved by quick-acting students giving her CPR. After undergoing surgery at UCSF to receive a pacemaker. She went on to continue teaching and giving to the UCSF community for nearly another quarter century.

Linda was a beloved and gifted psychotherapist, couples and sex therapist, and teacher, winning several UCSF Medical Student II Teaching Awards and nominations for Stimulating Lecture and Lecture Series. She was passionate about the importance of integrating the vast range of issues encompassed by human sexuality into medical education for patients and staff. She was a popular, valued, and active participant and workshop presenter (famously known for her humor) in several national and international professional groups, such as the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and the Society for Sex Therapy & Research.

Linda touched many lives with her respect for our calling as healers and with her authenticity, integrity, and caring for everyone with whom she interacted. We are grateful she shared her life with so many: family, clients, friends, and colleagues. She was truly appreciated for all she gave to the UCSF community and will be deeply missed.