Dr Auerbach said it was imperative never to be too comfortable with the vagaries of nature. “You have to be afraid when you go to work,” he says. “We must remain humble. “
Paul Stuart Auerbach was born January 4, 1951 in Plainfield, NJ. His father, Victor, was director of patents for Union Carbide. Her mother, Leona (Fishkin) Auerbach, was a teacher. Paul was a high school wrestling star and grew up spending summers on the Jersey Shore.
He graduated from Duke in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in religion, then enrolled in Duke medical school. He met Sherry Steindorf at UCLA and they married in 1982. (In the 1980s he worked part-time as a swimsuit model for swimwear company Laguna.) Dr. Auerbach studied at Stanford Business School shortly before joining the university’s medical school in 1991.
Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Brian and Daniel; one daughter, Lauren Auerbach Dixon; his mother; one brother, Burt; and a sister, Jan Sherman.
As he grew older, Dr. Auerbach became increasingly dedicated to expanding the field of wilderness medicine. In revising his manual, he added sections on environmental disaster management and, with Jay Lemery, wrote “Enviromedics: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health,” published in 2017.
Last year, shortly before being diagnosed with cancer, the coronavirus pandemic started to set in and Dr Auerbach decided to act.
“As soon as it all happened for the first time, he started working on disaster response,” his wife said. “Hospitals lacked PPE. He was calling that person and that person to learn as much as he could. He wanted to find out how to design better masks and better ventilators. He never stopped.