World-renowned U dermatology authority dies

Amy Olson

Milton Orkin, a Minneapolis dermatologist and clinical professor at the University, died Friday from a brain tumor. He was 69.
A world-renowned authority on skin disorders such as scabies, Orkin was also known as a kind, compassionate physician who would worry about his patients after he left work, said Mark Dahl, head of the Department of Dermatology.
Dahl said Orkin would even call experts around the country at night to make sure he was providing the best care to his patients.
“That’s the kind of doctor you would want to have treating you,” Dahl said.
Orkin was born in Danbury, Conn., and earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans.
He served in the Navy from 1958 to 1960 and was stationed at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, Calif. Orkin earned his board certification and left active duty in 1960, but he stayed in the Naval Reserves until 1970 and earned the rank of lieutenant commander.
Orkin practiced dermatology in Minneapolis and Robbinsdale for 38 years. Dahl said Orkin became a clinical professor at the University in the 1970s and was more than happy to help with grand rounds or lectures up until his death.
Dahl said Orkin’s work at the University went above and beyond that of most clinical professors.
Fellow clinical professor Irving Katz said Orkin enjoyed teaching and he traveled around the globe teaching physicians about skin care.
Throughout his career, Orkin consulted with the Food and Drug Administration and was active in professional organizations. In 1995 he was named Practitioner of the Year by the Dermatology Foundation.
Orkin was a prolific writer, producing several articles for medical journals and four text books, Dahl said.
Department administrative coordinator Lara Olsen said Orkin will be sadly missed by students and staff members.
Funeral services were held for Orkin on Sunday at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka. He is survived by his wife, Etta Fay; son Bruce Orkin and daughters Catherine Orkin Oskow and Aimee Orkin-Raymond; sister, Florence Moss of Florida; and nine grandchildren.