Monday, July 2, 2007
As he sat with family and a few old friends that warm June 4th evening, George Gilmore, MD, reflected on his more than half a century practicing medicine. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of his graduation from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His son Tim, standing with a glass of wine raised in his hand, had just revealed in a heartfelt toast the gift that he along with his siblings had made in his father’s name.
“He touched thousands of lives in his years practicing medicine. We wanted him to know that we admired him and appreciated everything he had done. We wanted to do something special, to recognize him in some small way,” says Tim.
“I was surprised and very honored,” says Dr. Gilmore. His ten children had made a donation to the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Fund for Medicine. “My children are all hard working people with families of their own and this was a sacrifice for them.”
WORKING HIS WAY THROUGH MED SCHOOL
Dr. Gilmore had likewise known sacrifice in his life. Born in Brooklyn, New York, his parents moved to
Baltimore when he was in the Navy. He followed them south and decided to study to become a doctor. He completed his undergraduate work at Johns Hopkins University and graduate work at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We had to borrow every penny, and I had to work day jobs and night jobs to help pay for my education,” says Dr. Gilmore. “Perhaps this gift to the Fund for Medicine will make it easier for a youngster coming up.”
Dr. Gilmore first hung his shingle in Lutherville, Maryland, where he practiced for 46 years. During that
time he developed many lasting relationships with his patients. “When I was a young doctor practicing
medicine in the late fifties and throughout the sixties I would make up to twenty-five house calls a day
sometimes,” says Dr. Gilmore, “on Sundays as well.”
In 1998, he decided it was time to retire and sold his practice to the Sinai Group. However, retirement
did not suit him and after only three months he went back to the Sinai Group and asked if they would be
interested in hiring a physician — a physician with quite a bit of experience.
“His retirement was short-lived,” says Tim. “He was concerned as always about his patients — were they
receiving proper care? He couldn’t sit back. He couldn’t stay away.”
PASSION FOR PRACTICING MEDICINE
Today, Dr. Gilmore can be found practicing at LifeBridge in Timonium, Maryland, just a few miles
north of his original practice. And in a seemingly endless ritual, every morning just after 7 a.m., seventy-eight year old Dr. Gilmore turns the light on in his office, arranges his desk and begins a new day of work. Devoted as ever, Dr. Gilmore says “I am still seeing the people I was seeing 50 years ago. Only
now I am seeing their grandchildren too. I love what I am doing.”
Perhaps it was the cards and letters he received from his patients telling him how much he will be missed in his retirement. Perhaps it was the man who sat down on the edge of his bed and cried when he heard of Dr. Gilmore’s retirement. Perhaps it was simply Dr. Gilmore’s passion for practicing medicine, and his compassion for others. “He is very much loved by his patients,” says Tim.
A FATHER’S PRIDE
On that festive summer night, Dr. Gilmore was touched and speechless. No one really knows what memories were awakened, whose faces flashed through Dr. Gilmore’s mind when the wine glasses were raised in salute to him that evening; the beloved faces of his family as young children, the faces of so many gratified patients; or even the face of Dr. Theodore Woodward, one of his early teachers at the School of Medicine. “I believe that man taught me more about medicine in three months, than I learned in a lifetime of practice,” remarked Dr. Gilmore.
“I am very proud of them all. Very proud that they did this,” says Dr. Gilmore when speaking of his children. “I’m confident the money will be put to good use by the school. I would like to see more young students go into primary care. It seems everybody wants to be a specialist these days and very few are going into primary care. That’s where the need is.”