Arturo Perez Norico, 70, general surgeon

October 25, 2004|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF

Arturo Perez Norico, a general surgeon who worked in hospital emergency rooms throughout the Baltimore area, died of lung cancer Tuesday at his home in Long Green. He was 70.

Dr. Norico was born in San Juan in Rizal Province in the Philippines, and earned his medical degree at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila in 1960. He immigrated to the United States in 1962 to accept an internship and residency at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

At Mercy, he met his wife of nearly 38 years, the former Patricia Caughy, who was a radiology student.

Dr. Norico completed a fellowship in clinical research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1970. While he was studying at Hopkins and working in emergency departments at several area hospitals, he discovered a passion for emergency medicine.

For the next three decades, he had a part-time private practice as a general surgeon and continued to work several shifts each week in emergency rooms.

He worked at North Charles and Bon Secours hospitals and Northwest Hospital Center before spending 17 years in the emergency department at Franklin Square Hospital Center in the 1980s and '90s.

He then moved to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, where he worked until he became ill in 2002.

"He loved dealing with the patients," his wife said. "He liked the idea you had the opportunity to help somebody make a difference in their life."

She recalled that her husband would often take calls from patients after he had seen them in the emergency room and give them advice on their continuing treatment.

Dr. Norico contracted as a surgical consultant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for 18 years until his death. He helped found the Maryland chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and was a 40-year member of MedChi, the Maryland state medical society.

He also was active with Katipunan-USA, a humanitarian organization focused on the Philippines, and a member of the Santo Nino Council of the Knights of Columbus.

He enjoyed ballroom dancing and traveling with his wife, particularly to Las Vegas.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered at the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson on Friday.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Arturo P. Norico Jr. of Springfield, Va.; three daughters, Elizabeth Norico of Bethesda, Holly Litrenta of College Park and Laura Norico of Baltimore; two brothers, Teodorico Norico, of Flushing, N.Y., and Henrieto Norico of Union, N.J.; a sister, Ofelia P. Norico of College Point, N.Y.; and four grandsons.

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