Mentor to Many, Revered by His Patients

Norman M. Simon, MD

For nearly four decades at NorthShore Evanston Hospital, Norman M. Simon, MD, cared for patients with kidney disease and hypertension. He taught hundreds of up-and-coming young physicians and mentored numerous nephrologists, some of whom have become international leaders in the field. More importantly, he practiced his craft with grace, concern and empathy.

“He was like a Marcus Welby MD,” said Stuart Sprague, MD, Division Chief of Nephrology and Hypertension at NorthShore. “He was incredibly concerned about his patients and was always available to them,” said Dr. Sprague, a friend and colleague of more than 30 years who delivered an impassioned eulogy when Dr. Simon recently passed away.

“He also had an extensive clinical research career in kidney disease and was a leader in the role of the kidney in causing certain types of hypertension.”

Dr. Sprague recalls taking a national review course in nephrology during 1986, only to find Dr. Simon was the coordinator and director of the intensive course. “He was enormously enthusiastic and energetic while independently directing this intense course for about 50 nephrologists with lectures by national leaders.” 

Years later, Dr. Simon lured Dr. Sprague away from a major academic medical center in Chicago to practice at Evanston Hospital. “I have never regretted it for a minute. His enthusiasm for clinical medicine and teaching convinced me by his example that one could be a clinician, humanitarian and scientist at the same time,” said Dr. Sprague.

“He approached each patient as an individual and cared for them as an extension of his family. He didn’t treat diseases, but considered each patient a complete individual that required individual care.”

The Simon family established the Norman M. Simon MD Research and Educational Fund to explore innovative approaches to treatment of kidney disease and hypertension and to train new physicians to manage patients with these medical problems. For more information about the fund, please contact John Hanson, Director of Philanthropy, at jhanson@northshore.org or 224.364.7208.

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