Dr. John W. Dorman Jr., 88, delivered over 9,000 babies

November 06, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Dr. John William Dorman Jr., a Baltimore native and obstetrician who delivered more than 9,000 babies in his nearly 30 years of practice, died Wednesday of pneumonia at Church Home.

Dr. Dorman, 88, a longtime resident of Original Northwood in Northeast Baltimore, was chief of obstetrics at Church Home and Hospital from 1961 to 1974 and a force in persuading the hospital to allow fathers in delivery rooms during childbirth.

"He really believed that birth was a family affair," said his daughter, Martha Dorman Clark of Rodgers Forge. "He was a deeply religious man and firmly committed to his patients. His practice of his faith was in his service to his patients. He took that role very seriously."

From 1946 until he retired in 1974, Dr. Dorman had offices in Charles Village and Dundalk.

"He liked the happy side of medicine. He liked the creation of family," his daughter said. "After he retired, he actually counted his patient files and it was over 9,000 babies that he delivered."

Almost all of Dr. Dorman's deliveries were at Church Home and Hospital. James R. Bobb, the former president of the hospital, said the facility's obstetric unit closed when Dr. Dorman retired.

"Over the years, he delivered more than 30 percent of the babies there," Mr. Bobb said. "He was an astounding obstetrician."

He also was a good listener and kept a rocking chair next to his desk that patients used, often for hours, as they talked to him.

"He always took time to talk and answer questions," said Maria Forster, one of his former patients. "Sometimes, we'd start talking about something medical and an hour later we're talking about something totally different."

A Baltimore native, Dr. Dorman graduated from Friends School in 1928 and received his bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1932. He earned his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1936.

From 1936 until 1941, Dr. Dorman was a resident at the former City Hospitals, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dr. Dorman enjoyed traveling, gardening and swimming and was a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Maryland Chirurgical Society.

For many years, he was also a member of University Baptist Church in North Baltimore, where he taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and was a deacon.

Dr. Dorman was remembered most for his commitment to his patients. His daughter said he would often spend days at the hospital, and colleagues said Dr. Dorman made himself available to those who needed him.

"If he had a mother who he thought might be ready to deliver, he'd just spend the night in the hospital," Mr. Bobb said. "That's the kind of person he was."

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow at Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church, 1010 Saters Lane in Timonium.

In addition to his daughter, Dr. Dorman is survived by his wife, the former Martha Ethel Hollifield, whom he married in 1940; two sons, J. William Dorman III of Baltimore and Walter H. Dorman of Minneapolis; and 11 grandchildren.

Pub Date: 11/06/98

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