Dr. Stephen Greenberg’s passion for medicine began at an early age, inspired by a book, Microbe Hunters, gifted to him by his father. After completing his residency at the University of Maryland School of Medicine he decided to specialize in infectious diseases. Dr. Greenberg developed an interest in virology and antiviral compounds. This motivated him to pursue a fellowship in infectious diseases at Baylor. He initially planned to return to Baltimore with his wife Lisa after the fellowship, but his mentors, Drs. Robert Couch and Vernon Knight and their groundbreaking work, convinced him to stay at Baylor, where he formed a lasting connection. His journey at Baylor College of Medicine led him to Ben Taub Hospital, Harris Health System and Houston Methodist Hospital over the decades.
For the first 15 years of his tenure at Baylor, Dr. Greenberg focused on scientific research, particularly on influenza, the common cold and HIV. In 1990, he shifted his focus and embraced a new direction, assuming the roles of chief of medicine service and assuming the Herman Brown Teaching professorship at Ben Taub Hospital until his retirement in 2020.
Dr. Greenberg’s dedication to academic medicine and his love for learning led him to prioritize the preparation of future physicians. In the mid-1990s, he and several faculty members worked over a year to effect major changes to Baylor’s undergraduate medical curriculum and championed early patient access for students. He played a pivotal role during his eight-year tenure in implementing core competencies and work-hour restrictions for residents. This period also witnessed the completion of new medical student space for education and simulation activities, a 15 percent increase in the medical school class size and greater diversity within the student population. His efforts also extended to providing continuing medical education activities and training programs for practicing physicians, making Baylor a frontrunner in training current and future doctors.
Throughout his career, Dr. Greenberg received numerous accolades, including the Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education, the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teaching Award for the Clinical Sciences and the Master Clinician Award for Excellence in Patient Care. He has also been consistently recognized as one of the Best Doctors in America® for over 23 years.
His impact on both students and colleagues is widely acknowledged. His former trainee Sagar Lonial, M.D., FACP, chair and professor of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and chief medical officer of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University School of Medicine fondly describes him as “the heart and soul of the Ben Taub Medicine program.” Dr. Greenberg’s legacy in medical education and his contributions to Baylor’s training programs have solidified his reputation for clinical excellence and the institution’s reputation as a leader in the field.