Who's Who in New Jersey Long-Term Care Facilities: Dr. Norman Reitman

Published in the Health Care Association of New Jersey
Health Care Update, January 2016
Vol. 22, No. 1 on 1/20/2016
By Marcia Ortez
Administrator, Parker at Stonegate


Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1912, Dr. Norman Reitman fondly recalls the scene that inspired him to pursue a career in medicine. When he was 10 years old, his younger brother got ill and his worried mother called the physician. Norman remembers the doctor’s knock on the door at 2 a.m., his large black bag, and how his mother was reassured by the physician’s words and presence. Now 104 years of age and an accomplished doctor in his own right, Norman Reitman recalls Dr. Wyman.
 
Dr. Reitman’s family moved to Bayonne, New Jersey when he was 12 years old. He attended Bayonne High School, graduated from Rutgers University in 1932, and received his Doctorate of Medicine from New York University in 1936.
 
Dr. Reitman became Board certified in Internal Medicine and moved back to New Brunswick to marry his college sweetheart, Syril. He initially worked as a physician for Rutgers and then started his own practice in 1938. After taking a three-year break to serve his country as a chief of medicine in the United States Army Air Corps he resumed his practice in 1946.
 
During a consultation, Dr. Reitman met Dr. Jerome Kaufman, the “father of cardiology in New Jersey,” who encouraged Dr. Reitman to study cardiology. Dr. Reitman attended NYU School of Medicine, trained under master clinicians, and passed the cardiology boards in 1949.
 
He remained a solo practitioner in the New Brunswick area for over 30 years. In 1970, he hired his first associate, and that practice has since grown to ten doctors practicing all aspects of cardiology. He is proud to have served as the first president of the Middlesex County Heart Association, as a New Jersey governor for the American College of Cardiology, and as chief of staff at Middlesex General Hospital (now Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital). He has also consulted in medicine and cardiology at many other New Jersey hospitals.
 
Dr. Reitman also made many contributions to the community. He served as chairman of the board of governors of Rutgers University and assisted in the fundraising that enabled Rutgers to establish the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life. In 1982, he and Syril established a scholarship fund at Rutgers to aid undergraduate students pursuing a career in medicine. In 2012, Rutgers reported that the fund had already benefitted 150 scholars and practitioners around the world.
 
After 51 years of practice, Dr. Reitman retired in September 1989. The hospital and medical school honored him by establishing the annual Norman Reitman Lecture in Cardiology; the speakers, who are outstanding cardiologists, are very popular with attending physicians and house staff.
 
For the thousands of lives he has touched, and countless others he has inspired, Dr. Reitman is a true legend in his time.