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.

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3 Replies to “THE DOCTOR’S DOCTOR”

  1. Stewart,
    Appreciate you reaching out in memory of our dad, Dr Jerome Perlman.
    I actually have a copy of the original letter you sent him in May of 2011.
    My mother passed it along to me to hold onto for safe keeping.
    Your condolences and thoughtfulness reminds us of a life well lived and remembered. Zichronan Livracha!
    The Perlman’s

    1. I am so sorry for your loss. He forever changed my life and was with me in spirit every time I was with a patient, reminding me to give it my all!

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