Community mourns the loss of community Pillar – Malcolm Joel Dorman
August 6, 1941 – March 26, 2021
Dr. Malcolm Dorman, a world-renowned heart surgeon and pillar of South Florida’s Jewish community for over 40 years, tragically passed away on Friday, March 26, 2021 in New York City, New York after a difficult year-long battle with bile duct cancer. He is survived by many loving friends, family, patients, co-workers, and numerous others who were fortunate to have known him.
Malcom was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 6, 1941 to Edward and Lillian Dorman and grew up in Great Neck, Long Island. He attended Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn, New York from 1955 to 1959 and then Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford, New Jersey from 1995 to 1963.
In a twist of fate, when Malcolm was a young man, he was in a hospital visiting a friend when he was mistaken for a doctor, whisked into an operating room, and a beating heart was placed in his hands. It was at that moment that he knew he would be a doctor.
Malcolm brought his dream to fruition when he graduated from University of Health Sciences Chicago Medical School in Chicago, Illinois in 1967. After completing a residency in General Surgery at Long Island Jewish-Hillside Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, he completed a residency in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Baylor College in Houston, Texas, where he was one of only two residents selected to be trained by the famous heart surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. Malcom then went to NYU Langone Medical Center where he completed an Assistant Research Scientist and Clinical Fellowship in Cardiovascular Surgery under two distinguished doctors, Dr. Frank Spencer and Dr. George Reed, in 1976.
Following the completion of his fellowship, Malcolm moved to Miami, Florida. He practiced at the Miami Heart Institute for 25 years where he served as a Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Co-Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine. He was later recruited to JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida to become the Medical Director of Cardiac Surgery and there he established and directed the Valvular Heart Institute. He also had the honor of serving on Florida Atlantic University’s Board of Trustees and FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Advisory Board.
His career encompassed an impressive roster of achievements, awards and accolades, too numerous to list here. They included recognition for his research and pioneering work in repairing mitral valves using minimally invasive techniques and being honored by his Medical School with the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition for his scientific and educative contribution to the field of cardiovascular surgery. He also received the Patients’ Choice Award (2012, 2013, 2014), a recognition reflects the difference a particular physician has made in the lives of his/her patients and is bestowed to physicians who have received near perfect scores, as voted by patients. He also received the Compassionate Doctor Recognition (2013, 2014), which is granted to physicians who treat their patients with the utmost kindness and the honor is granted based on a physician’s overall and bedside manner scores. But perhaps Malcolm’s best accolade was that he was referred to as the “Garbage Can”, a title he earned for being the surgeon where other doctors sent patients they wouldn’t or couldn’t operate on for saving. He was the go-to doctor when a miracle had to be performed to save a life. It was no wonder he was the heart surgeon of choice for celebrities, CEOs, doctors, politicians and even world leaders.
Aside from being a medical genius, Malcolm was an incredibly dedicated, caring, empathetic and warm-hearted physician. He was a real patient advocate who did everything in his power to ensure his patients received the very best care possible. It was not uncommon for Malcolm to sleep in a patient’s room following surgery to ensure that he was available should he be needed. He was the kind of doctor and person we all hope for when we have a loved one in the hospital. Despite all that he was, Malcolm was incredibly humble and would frequently say that it was not him, but God working through his hands to make miracles.
Although being a doctor was Malcolm’s life and passion, he gave even more to the community through his faith and extensive service. Malcolm was a devout Jew, not only in his adherence to the faith but also in his support of Israel and Jewish causes. He was a founder and active member of the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and he worked vehemently to raise funds for the Jewish community and Israel. Amongst many others, Malcolm was the recipient of the 2006 “Distinguished Guardian of Israel Award” presented by Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister of the State of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, and the 1995 “Man of the Year Award” presented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and honored by Senator Bob Graham and Representative Elaine Bloom.
When Malcolm wasn’t saving lives or working tirelessly for his religious community, he was busy caring for his many friends whom he loved like family and, of course, spending time with his beloved and beautiful Emmy, Melissa and Lilian.
The hospital loudspeakers will no longer sound “paging Dr. Dorman”, but he will forever live on in the hearts of all the people he profoundly touched throughout his life. He will be remembered as one of the most loving, caring, giving, selfless persons on this planet. His greatest joy was to help others while never asking or wanting anything for himself. May Malcolm rest in peace.
There will be a gravesite memorial service for Malcolm on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time at the Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, NY. The service will be led by Rabbi Guido Cohen from the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and can be seen live on Zoom at this link:
Meeting ID: 957 9096 5734
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society in his honor.