Obituary: Dr. Leslie Sandlow

Dr. Leslie Sandlow

Dr. Leslie J. Sandlow, former head and professor emeritus of the department of medical education at the UIC College of Medicine, died July 26. He was 87.

Dr. Sandlow was appointed interim head of the department in 1993 and became permanent head in 1996. Prior to his retirement in 2010, he also had served as associate dean for graduate medical education and continuing medical education, and as the senior associate dean for medical education, encompassing the continuum of education throughout the four program sites of the college.

In addition to his academic appointment as professor of medical education, Dr. Sandlow was professor of medicine in the department of medicine.

Prior to coming to UIC, Dr. Sandlow was senior vice president for academic and medical affairs at Michael Reese Hospital & Medical Center, where he held numerous medical administrative positions and established the Educational Unit, which flourished until the hospital was sold. He was a member of the board of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago and the Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation. He also was in the process of writing a book about Michael Reese Hospital and was excited about the archival research for the book.

Dr. William Chamberlin, former chief medical officer for UIC, worked with Dr. Sandlow on the book about Michael Reese Hospital & Medical Center.

“His personal history and insights have been invaluable, but I shall miss his friendship the most,” said Chamberlin, associate professor emeritus of medicine and anesthesiology. “He cared deeply about people and their health care and was driving improvement in health disparities through the Michael Reese Foundation.”

Dr. Gerald Moss, former dean of the College of Medicine, worked with Dr. Sandlow at UIC and Michael Reese Hospital & Medical Center.

“Les Sandlow and I were colleagues and friends for over four decades. We weathered a lot of storms together, occasionally on opposing sides, but always with mutual respect,” Moss said. “He was truly one of kind, and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

After retiring in 2010, Dr. Sandlow continued to work as a consultant to medical schools across the nation and actively teach. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, Chicago Medical School, in 2020 as well as the 2018 Portes Foundation Meritorious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Sandlow and Joanne, his wife of 64 years, were avid world travelers and had visited every continent.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne; his children, Jay (Bridget) Sandlow, Bruce (Deborah) Sandlow, and Lisa (Douglas) Imber; grandchildren Samantha (Sean) Mackman; Jacquelyn, Rachel, Sarah, Natalie, and Haley Sandlow; and Arielle and Jacob Imber; neice Marjorie Sandlow (Barry Rosen) and nephew Tom Sandlow; four great-nieces and nephews.

Dr. Moss recalls meeting Dr. Sandlow for lunch several times a month until the pandemic, when they began meeting over Zoom.

“Of course, he was respected internationally for his work in medical education, but in our lunch ‘schmoozing,’ the focus was always Joanne, Jay, Bruce, Lisa and the grandchildren,” he said. “At our last Zoom a few days ago, sadly, he was looking forward to renovating their summer place in Wisconsin as an ‘all in’ family project.”

Services have been held.

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