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Dr. Robert hangs up the stethoscope after 50-plus years

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Updated: June 29, 2014 6:45AM



A Chicago street was renamed last Thursday in recognition of a man who took regular steps to serve his community through a career in medicine.

Dr. Robert Dolehide was recognized with an official street sign designation; Dr. Dolehide Way at 113th Street and Western Avenue — the location of his private practice and part of a legacy of over 50 years of medicine. Friends and family joined him at the event to celebrate a career that had been influential in the lives of many, including family members who would join him in the field.

In his speech at the event, Dolehide humbly accepted the gift while also recognizing his deceased brother Dr. Eugene Dolehide, son Dr. Kevin Dolehide and “all those professionals who provided health care in this building all these years.”

Dolehide founded his private medical practice near 111th Street and Kedzie Avenue before partnering with his brother, Eugene, a general surgeon, at the practice’s current location. This building was razed just last year in order to provide a new state-of-the-art medical center, Metro South, with which to better serve the community.

“I always think of the people in the 19th Ward because I’m really indebted to them,” Dolehide told the SouthtownStar. “They’re great, wonderful people.”

Often referred to as “Dr. Robert,” Dolehide made compassion a central element to his career in medicine.

“Bob was always taking care of anybody who came into the office. Nobody was ever refused care,” said Eileen Dolehide, Dr. Dolehide’s wife of 61 years. “He took care of everybody.”

Dolehide’s son, Kevin, would join him for the last 20 years of his career, allowing for opportunities of both learning and friendship. Dolehide, who retired in Dec. 2013, has been able to leave his practice confident in his son’s abilities to continue assisting the community.

“Kevin is my best friend, a great doctor and my son and that made retiring a difficult decision,” Dolehide said in a press release. “But he is better served than I to handle the modern medicine of today. He is a great doctor.”

Growing up in Chicago’s Chatham community, Dolehide attended De La Salle High School and graduated from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota in 1947. He would be called to serve in the Navy near the end of World War II but returned to Chicago to study at Loyola University Medical School, graduating in 1951. From there, Dolehide began his medical career specializing in internal medicine at Cook County Hospital.

Not only working toward building a successful practice, the Dolehides also have been active members of the community, donating time and skills in support of Port Ministries, a non-profit organization that provides meals, GED and English classes and a free health clinic to those in need. Dr. Dolehide regularly donated his expertise at the clinic while Eileen helped distribute meals or volunteered at the organization’s family center.

“You get to know the families and you see what great need there is,” said Eileen on her experiences with volunteering. “I think about all these service projects where university students have to go to foreign countries, but there’s plenty to do right here, too.”

Dolehide has eight children and 46 grandchildren, and is grateful for the opportunities for fellowship and service that he has experienced through his community.

“I’ve always been happy helping people,” Dolehide said in a press release. “I’ve been blessed.”



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