Last week, the world lost a great man. Dr. Jerome Perlman was my family doctor for 25 years. He was a caring, compassionate doctor who saw me through one of the worse times in my life and set me on course and guided me through my career as a doctor.
At the age of 13, I told Dr. Perlman that I was going to medical school and eventually become his partner. Every step of the way, from undergrad at UVa. to medical school in Mexico, I would call Jerome and update him on my practice. Unfortunately, his health caused him to retire young and I never got to join him.
In 1982, I was an emergency room doc at Northwest Community Hospital. While I was a board certified family doc, my family practice residency was so bad that I abandoned family medicine for the fast paced life of an ER Doc. It soon became apparent that 90% of what I saw in the ER really belonged in an outpatient family practice and that I really was a family practitioner at heart.
For a little over a year, I asked each patient I saw one of 10 questions designed to determine why the patient chose the ER as opposed to going to their family doc’s office. I then opened my own office in Lake Zurich and designed it to meet the top 10 needs of the patients I had surveyed. When I opened in 1984, I realized that I had recreated Dr. Perlman’s office and practice style.
Over my 40 year career in medicine, I treated hundreds of thousands of people, all as a result of the work of one amazing man. Thank you, Jerome. Rest in peace.