A Healer and Teacher: Sons Fund Scholarship to Honor Father

Eric and Lanny Grossman established a Miller School of Medicine scholarship in support of their father’s devotion to education.

The Grossman family: Philip, Lanny and Eric

When brothers Eric and Lanny Grossman decided to pay tribute to their father, Philip Grossman, M.D., an esteemed gastroenterologist and longtime University of Miami Miller School of Medicine voluntary faculty member who is now facing cancer, they knew the best way to celebrate his legacy.

“My dad’s identity, more than anything, is as a healer and teacher,” said Eric Grossman.

To honor their father and the institution that embraced him for nearly 50 years, the Grossmans established an endowed scholarship to support students pursuing medical degrees at the Miller School. The scholarship will aid students whose approach to medicine focuses on the whole patient, using keen clinical skills to solve complex problems while caring for the person behind the condition, just as Dr. Grossman taught his medical students.

“It is super important that we get another generation of doctors who feel some notion of mission and duty to heal,” Eric Grossman said. “We will help fund the next generations of the Phil Grossmans of the world.”

“Every year there will be a student who is able to go to medical school without financial restriction. That person will go on to help so many others.
— Dr. Philip Grossman

“My brother and I are now proud to continue our father’s legacy of healing and teaching through the creation of this scholarship,” Lanny Grossman added.

Endowments like the Grossman scholarship help the Miller School attract the best and the brightest future clinicians, said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School.

“We are grateful to Dr. Grossman for his decades-long commitment to the Miller School and to the entire Grossman family for their generous support of our medical students,” Dean Ford said. “It is support like theirs that helps us educate the next generation of compassionate health care leaders.”

Dr. Larry Grossman
Dr. Philip Grossman

Philip Grossman came of age in the 1950s in a New Jersey suburb of New York City. After completing medical school, residency and a gastroenterology fellowship, Dr. Grossman pursued a career that would combine his passions: patient care, medical administration and academia.

“That’s not an easy trifecta to get,” Dr. Grossman said.

After landing the dual role of practicing gastroenterologist and gastroenterology department administrator at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in 1978, Dr. Grossman offered his teaching skills to the University of Miami. He was appointed to the voluntary faculty in the role of assistant professor.

“I jumped in with both feet,” Dr. Grossman recalled, “and set out to recruit other practitioners to become involved in the teaching program.”

Dr. Grossman became a preceptor in the clinical skills program for first- and second-year medical students.

“I’d describe that as a course that taught the student how to go from books to people,” he said.

Dr. Grossman invited students to shadow him at his gastroenterology practice and apply their medical school knowledge with real-life patients.

“The idea was to get them to use all their resources,” he said. “I wanted to teach them how to think.”

The teaching went both ways. Dr. Grossman enjoyed hearing what his students were learning in their other classes and relished their insightful questions.

“If one of them asked a question that I didn’t have a ready answer for,” he said, “I sure as heck would make sure that I got the answer.”

As the decades passed, Dr. Grossman was promoted to associate professor and finally, in 2012, to full professor, a notable achievement for a voluntary faculty member. He retired from practice in 2018 but continued to attend grand rounds at the university.

Last year, Dr. Grossman visited the hospital with an eye problem. The ophthalmology resident who treated him was a former student.

“It was really an exciting reunion,” he said.

Husband to Lori, a proud grandfather and an avid boater who loves classical and Jewish music, Dr. Grossman also devoted years to philanthropy. He was a founding director and chair of the Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit supporting the medically underserved.

“When I saw patients, I would help people one at a time,” Dr. Grossman said. “When I was chair of the foundation, I could help people hundreds at a time.”

Now, his sons are following his example by supporting future doctors in perpetuity.

“Every year there will be a student who is able to go to medical school without financial restriction,” Dr. Grossman said. “That person will go on to help so many others. So it really has a significant multiplier.”

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Tags: medical education, philanthropy, scholarships