In Remembrance – Jerry Rabinowitz, MD (1951-2018)

February 12, 2019

We continue to mourn the loss of one of our alumni, Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, who died along with 10 other people in a massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018.  Learning of his sudden death has left us with sorrow and a great sense of loss. 

Dr. Rabinowitz was a highly regarded and respected family physician who was loved by his patients, physicians, residents, and staff.  He was the embodiment of what a family physician is supposed to be – compassionate, kind, caring, positive, and supportive.  His patients were considered a part of his extended family.  He was known to make house calls when necessary.  Patients would comment about his delightful sense of humor.  He was one of the first physicians in the Pittsburgh community to care for HIV/AIDS patients, even when there was no effective treatment available. 

Dr. Rabinowitz was born in New Jersey.  After earning his undergraduate degree and medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, he completed his family medicine residency training in 1980 at Shadyside Hospital, now known as UPMC Shadyside.  He was in private practice for over 30 years with another graduate of our residency, Dr. Kenneth Ciesielka (Class of 1983). 

Dr. Rabinowitz will be missed.

Barry Coutinho, MBBS (Class of 1994)
Vice Chief, UPMC Shadyside Department of Family & Community Medicine
Director, UPMC Shadyside Inpatient Teaching Service

“Jerry was one of my first mentors and role models at Shadyside. I was continually impressed with his vast medical knowledge which allowed him to take complete care of hospital patients with few if any consults. He was the ultimate family physician who had the best therapeutic relationship with his patients and their families. He often visited them in the hospital when he was off work and even after he stopped admitting to the hospital. As the only family physician President of the Shadyside Medical Staff, he paved the way for other great leaders. We were truly lucky to have him as a teacher, colleague, and friend.”

Alan Finkelstein, MD
Director, UPMC Shadyside Family Health Center Laboratory

“In an age of relentless pressure to see more patients and to be more efficient, Jerry understood that efficiency was not the true measure of the physician, but that being effective meant taking the time to listen, to understand, to discuss, to negotiate.”

Daniel Lapp, MD (Class of 1996)
Faculty, UPMC Shadyside Family Medicine Residency Program

“What is your ideal doctor? Always available? Consoling? Good sense of humor? Conscientious? Making sure other providers are doing you good? Up to date knowledge? Go the extra mile? Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz was there - and so much more. A model to emulate - as a physician and a human being. I am honored to have been trained by him and then had the opportunity to work with him as a colleague.”

Mark Meyer, MD
Division Chief, UPMC Shadyside Family & Community Medicine
Director, Global Health Track

 “Jerry was just what you’d want in a physician. He had a terrific sense of humor, and his image in our minds always includes a smile. As an advocate for his patients and for what is right, he was never quiet, and folks knew that he would not stop working on their behalf.”

Lisa Schlar, MD
Director of Women’s Health, UPMC Shadyside Family Medicine Residency Program

“Dr. Jerry was a role model to many and especially to me.  He was a quintessential family doc, committing himself to provide compassionate, patient-centered care with an enviable smile and charm!  He was my family’s family doctor as well, so we knew first-hand the personal care he provided.  Jerry was also a leader in our Jewish Community.  He was my colleague for close to 20 years, a mentor, and a dear friend and I will miss him deeply.”