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Father’s Legacy Inspires Alumnus

Dr. Jerome J. Sheldon Remembered for Decades of Care and Service

Daniel Sheldon, M.D. ‘94


aniel Sheldon, M.D. ’94, shared an observation often made about his father, Jerome J. Sheldon, M.D. ’64.

“When my father gave you his attention,” Sheldon said, “you felt like you were the only person in the room with him.”

It was this quality, among many others, that resonated with family, friends, and colleagues, who came together to celebrate Dr. Sheldon’s life as a mentor, leader, and devoted family man, after he passed away in February. A beloved board member of the Miller School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association (MAA), Dr. Sheldon was dedicated to the advancement of those he worked with and the communities he served.

Dr. Sheldon recalled his father’s high regard for the Miller School and the practice of medicine was often a topic of conversation in their home. “My father said one of his proudest moments was when he put the hood on me when I graduated from the Miller School of Medicine,” said Dr. Sheldon. “Growing up, the joke was that we could do anything we wanted after we graduated from medical school.”

Jerome J. Sheldon, M.D. ’64, with his son, Daniel, at Daniel’s 1994 medical school commencement.

As a child, Dr. Sheldon would occasionally accompany his father to the Mount Sinai Medical Center during a time when the CT scanner technology was just coming out. “He would leave me in the room with this big computer and machinery and I would invariably start touching things, against his expressed wishes,” said Sheldon, who is now an orthopaedic surgeon. “He was so very patient, and he never got angry, I always felt encouraged to be curious about things around me.”

He also recounted the experience of observing his father with others during those visits. “You could see the way he was respected by the colleagues and staff that he worked with,” said Dr. Sheldon. “He was always a resource to his peers, and he extended this quality to others – friends and family would invariably call during the week or on the weekend to get some medical insight, and he was always ready to listen and spend time understanding the situation.”

This was evident with his patients, too. While in radiology there is little patient contact, especially with the advent of telemedicine, Dr. Sheldon made it a point to talk to patients when he needed to understand more to piece together his diagnosis. “He loved working in the hospital setting with patients, where he would confer with physicians and go through cases with them,” said Dr. Sheldon. “These were the collegial interactions he would live for.”

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Jerome J. Sheldon attended the University of Florida and then graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1964. As a radiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center on Miami Beach and a professor of radiology at the Miller School of Medicine for more than 50 years, Dr. Sheldon was a source of wisdom, strength, and support for all who crossed his path.

He was instrumental in setting up the longest-standing active scholarship fund at the Miller School of Medicine—a fund devoted to his graduating class—the Class of 1964 Peter Lake Memorial Endowed Scholarship. He kept the fund resourced for 56 years by going back to alumni each year, encouraging them to contribute to support the aspirations of Miller School students.

Jerome J. Sheldon, M.D. ‘64

Dr. Sheldon’s leadership shone through as president of the Medical Alumni Association from 1994 to 1996. He saw an opportunity to establish and elevate the groundbreaking work of alumni. Along with others at the MAA, he formed the Medical Alumni Hall of Fame Selection Committee. The Committee’s charter was to select, out of thousands of candidates, the recipient of the Miller School’s Hall of Fame Award for outstanding achievements in medicine.

The first two alumni were inducted to the Medical Alumni Hall of Fame in 1996. The selection process culminates in a celebration of award recipients at Medical Alumni Weekend each year and continues to this day.

Daniel Sheldon also remembered his father as a talented carpenter who built things others could enjoy — bookcases, furniture, outdoor benches, and on one summer, a canoe. “He made beautiful and functional things for others,” said Dr. Daniel Sheldon. “It was just who he was, he was a true renaissance man whose lifetime love of learning and creating inspired us – family and friends – to better ourselves in ways we never thought possible.”

Dr. Jerome J. Sheldon is survived by his wife Rita of 56 years; his children Daniel (Alissa), Paul, and Allen (Keri); and his grandchildren Samantha, Meredith, Dana, Cassidy, and Jenna. If you wish to donate to a cause in Dr. Sheldon’s honor, his family has asked that all contributions go to the Class of 1964 Peter Lake Memorial Endowed Scholarship for the advancement of medical students. Visit this page for further details or call 305-243-9473.