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58-year Fellow Supports Future Generations

Dr. John Cordice has been a NYAM Fellow for 58 years, having been elected to the Academy in 1955. A native of Durham, N.C., Dr. Cordice moved to New York City in 1936. He earned his medical degree at New York University in 1943 and went on to serve as an Attending Surgeon and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Harlem Hospital. Dr. Cordice is perhaps best known as being part of the surgical team that saved Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life in 1958 after Dr. King was stabbed at a book signing event in Harlem. It is but a moment in Dr. Cordice’s storied and successful career; he continues to point with great pride to his affiliation with NYAM.

“When I was based at Harlem Hospital and when I started my practice in Harlem, I became a member of The New York Academy of Medicine and I was rather active because I was in the area and it was easy for me to get from Harlem down there,” Dr. Cordice recalled. “I wrote a number of papers and the Library was quite valuable to me. I’m happy to be identified with the Academy. I’ll write a letter so my daughter can become a Member because she’s a post-doc fellow at Columbia now.”

Just as he is supportive of his daughter, Dr. Cordice takes a special interest in supporting younger members of the medical profession—and young people just beginning to consider health careers—in getting involved with NYAM. He recently visited NYAM to speak with a group of NYAM Junior Fellows about his career and their aspirations in the health professions.

“I was rather impressed at their interest and activity related to the Academy and solidifying their interest in various medical-related careers,” he said. “I think that’s a very worthy program that the Academy is promoting.”

He also praised NYAM’s efforts to recruit Fellows and Members from a wide cross-section of health-related careers. 

“I was rather interested to see the expansion of membership to others than just physicians in recent times and that you had a fairly sizable election recently of people who were non-physicians but who were interested in the programs of the Academy,” Dr. Cordice said. “I’m very encouraged by that.”

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Posted on January 16, 2013

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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