William L. Winters Jr. (2011) Michael Thomas Mcdonough, M.D. 1928 – 2010. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal: January 2011, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 66.doi: https://doi.org/10.14797/mdcj-7-1-66
In everyone’s life, there emerge a few who make a lasting impression. In my life, one such person was Michael T. McDonough, M.D., who died in Philadelphia on March 27, 2010, at age 82. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Michael was educated at Fordham University and received his medical degree at Georgetown School of Medicine, where he came under the influence of Dr. Proctor Harvey. He did a one-year internship in Buffalo, New York, and returned to Washington, DC, for his medical residency, which he completed in 1958.
Our close connection began in 1960, when he entered the cardiology fellowship program at Temple University Hospital (TUH) in Philadelphia after serving two years as a captain in the United States Army. I was a young cardiologist on the faculty at that time, having just finished my own cardiology fellowship two years prior. For the next eight years, we worked side by side — his first year as a fellow and the next seven as partners and close friends in the cardiology section at TUH under the leadership of Dr. Louis A. Soloff.
Michael Thomas McDonough, M.D.
1928 – 2010
Dr. McDonough’s positive attributes were numerous, but I especially enjoyed his warm personality and infectious sense of humor. I watched him mature into a compassionate physician and intuitive teacher. His ability to find the right answers and communicate with patients was his forte. For a large man, he was among the gentlest, and his focus never varied from providing superb care for his patients and teaching doctors the importance of honesty, integrity, and compassion — the hallmarks of trust.
Teaching by word and example, his professional demeanor was impeccable. After I left Temple University Hospital in 1968, our communication became less frequent but his exploits were never far from mind through updates from colleagues, especially Dr. Fred Bove, former chairman of the cardiology section at TUH and the immediate past President of the American College of Cardiology. His contributions to the clinical lore of THU’s cardiology section were pervasive for over 35 years
Michael and his wife, Mary, always wanted a large family. They were successful in rearing eight children, with all but one still living in Philadelphia today. His religion kept him very active in his church, and his love for children kept him busy coaching young sportsmen. By choice, he was a homebody living for his family and for his profession. His youngest child summed it up best in a note to me: “I think he practiced medicine as he parented: with compassion, love and patience. He was the best man I have ever known.” What warmer eulogy can there be? Many of our readers won’t recognize his name, except those in the Philadelphia area. But there are many physicians like Michael McDonough. You just have to look far for them. And when you find them, nourish and treasure them, because they represent what is best in practicing the art and science of medicine.