Martin S. Wolfe, MD, FACP, (1935-2017), Founder, Traveler’s Medical Service of Washington DC

Martin S. Wolfe, MD was an internationally recognized travel and tropical medicine specialist and founder of Traveler’s Medical Service of Washington DC, one of the first dedicated travel medicine practices in the United States.

He received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and a Diploma in Clinical Medicine of the Tropics from The London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. After working and conducting research in Ghana and Pakistan, Dr. Wolfe was the tropical medicine consultant to the US Department of State for over 30 years. He also worked with the Peace Corps, the World Bank and consulted for private corporations. He held Clinical Professorships at George Washington University and Georgetown University Medical Schools, teaching popular courses in tropical medicine and parasitology.

Dr. Wolfe lectured and wrote extensively on travel and tropical medicine topics and was one of the leading experts in the diagnosis and treatment of Giardia lamblia, an intestinal parasite. Dr. Wolfe was also the founder and director of The Parasitology Laboratory of Washington, DC for 35 years. He was a long-standing and active member of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). In 1998 he received the Ben Kean Medal from the ASTMH for his contributions and dedication to clinical tropical medicine and impact on the training of students. In 2013 he was awarded ASTMH Council Fellowship, an honor recognizing sustained professional excellence in any phase of tropical medicine, hygiene, global health and related disciplines.

Dr. Wolfe has left a lasting impact on his profession and his legacy endures through the thousands of travelers he cared for and treated as well as the scores of clinicians he taught, mentored and inspired. Three of these clinicians are family members. His son, David P. Wolfe, MD managed Traveler’s Medical Service of Washington DC for 7 years until the practice closed in December 2021 after 40 years of dependably serving the needs of countless travelers. His daughter, Rebecca Wolfe Acosta, RN, MPH and son-in-law, Alberto M. Acosta, MD, PhD, continue to direct and manage Traveler’s Medical Service of New York and follow in Dr. Wolfe’s large footsteps.

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) has created a Mentoring Award in honor of Dr. Wolfe’s contributions and mentoring in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers Health.