THOMAS JACOBS
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JACOBS--Dr. Thomas P. Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian mourn the passing of Dr. Thomas P. Jacobs, a beloved physician, longtime member of our faculty, and dear friend. Dr. Jacobs' patients knew him as an effective and empathic clinician; he was also a gifted educator, valued colleague, and dedicated mentor. A graduate of Amherst College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, he trained at what was then known as Presbyterian Hospital and at the University of Washington and served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, where he ministered to the local population in combat zones. After his training and service, he spent his entire professional life as an endocrinologist at NewYork-Presbyterian and at Columbia, where he was named the Roy and Diana Vagelos Professor of Medicine in 2018. Columbia also honored him with the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, established by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to recognize a Columbia physician who demonstrates compassionate and devoted patient care and serves as a humanistic role model for students and young physicians. A committed humanitarian, Dr. Jacobs served as a regular examiner for Physicians for Human Rights documenting evidence of torture in immigrants seeking asylum and as a volunteer with Columbia Student Medical Outreach, or CoSMO, a student-run free clinic in Washington Heights. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Janice, his children, grandchildren, and the extended Jacobs family. Lee Goldman, MD, Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, Chief Executive, Columbia University Irving Medical Center Steven J. Corwin, MD, President and CEO, New York-Presbyterian


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Published in New York Times on Apr. 20, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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28 entries
April 14, 2020
In February last year, two months before he died, Dr. Jacobs gave me an unscheduled appointment because I had an episode of fainting from low blood pressure. I am 85. In his little waiting area in the hallway next to a big window, there were three orchid plants sitting in the bright sunlight, so perfect and beautiful I wasnt sure they were real. When he came to get me, he admitted he had grown them, with a big delighted smile, and he gave me a little tour of the other orchids he had grown. I complimented him and he said Oh I just stick things in the ground and pour water on them. At the time, I thought of his smile as radiant. That is how I remember his face. There was something about that bright sunny morning, the flowers, his happiness, that felt so healing that I did something I had never done in almost thirty years as his patient, I reached out and shook his hand and said Thank you, I feel so much better.
Marie Bardos
April 1, 2020
He was my first medicine attending during my 3rd year clerkship. Not only was he gentle and kind, but his fund of knowledge was encyclopedic! From time to time I remember his ability to give a differential diagnosis off the top of his head, as if he were reading it in a book. He is missed. Rest in peace Dr Jacobs.
Stephen Heller MD
Philadelphia PA
March 7, 2020
I am so sad to have recently learned of Tom's death. I don't think I had even thought of him for almost 50 years. Then, by chance, I was sitting next to his widow, Janice, at an event. Early on she let me know she was widowed in the past year, and when she told me the name of her late husband, I was suddenly flooded with a warm feeling, immediately realizing the name was familiar, next that he was probably a doctor, and finally, a doctor I likely had met on the wards at Columbia P&S when I was a student and started working there in the late 60's as part of my training. The fact that a memory of him came back to me so quickly after the passage of several generations is testament to the wonderful human being he was and the strong impression he made upon me when I was a medical student.
Elizabeth Ames, MD
February 25, 2020
Oh Lord, So sad to read about Dr. Thomas Jacobs passing, I was actually calling for an appointment and upon hearing the message that the practice had been closed, I continued to inquire and found this note. To his family he was an exceptional doctor. May he rest in peace
ana jacobo
January 12, 2020
I only inadvertently learned of Tom's death as I was working on the chapter of my memoir, "The Art of Medicine," in which I write about meeting Tom when he was my intern on PH 9 West, along with Lenny Chess. Tom and I were lose during residency and during his service in Vietnam. After he finished his training in Endocrinology and I finished my military service at Walter Reed, he joined me in practice with Dr. Hamilton Southworth--which we did together for three years until I was recruited to start a new medical schools Medicine education programs. We remained in touch until just two years ago--my last visit with him in NYC. He was one of my dearest friends and everything that has been said about his clinical skills, humanism, love of his family, and teaching I would echo--and have, as he appears in a number of places in the memoir. So sorry to learn than he has gone--a life well lived and a gift to mankind.
Gordon L Noel, MD
October 1, 2019
Rest in Peace Dr. Jacobs. Thank you for saving my life!
S Flagg
September 5, 2019
I am beyond sad to find out that Dr. Jacobs passed away. He was an extraordinary person, doctor and human being. I knew him for about 15+ years and looked forward to our appointments. He was so personable and interested in his patient. Kind and caring. Beautiful personal notes written with a fountain pen! Loved his family, dogs, travel, biking, outdoors...it was a true pleasure to visit with him! I will miss him so. May his memory be a blessing.
Molly Weinberger
August 3, 2019
Dr. Jacobs appreciated how precious and fragile life can be, and he often delighted in his own blessings: a wonderful wife and children. (When I asked, "Do you believe it? I'm starting law school in my 50s," he chuckled and said that he certainly could believe it, because his wife was beginning a new academic adventure, too.) He was a lovely example of thoughtfulness, humility, and care. My thoughts are with the family who gave him such happiness.
Carol Pauli
July 2, 2019
I can't believe it! I mourn the passing of this great man; a Doctor with humor, dignity and just wanted the best for his patients. God rest his soul. He is so missed.
Roslyn Breitstein
June 21, 2019
My heart is broken by this news!! Dr. Jacobs saved my life! While being a a patient of his for 17 years he not only brought my health back, but my spirit. He loved what he did and all of his patients he did it for. A brilliant doctor and a brilliant soul! Condolences to his family, friends and patients!
Lisa Bryson
May 25, 2019
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Jacobs. He was my doctor for fifteen years. He had the gift of putting one at ease and was truly concerned about his patients. He spoke with such joy about his grandchildren and his beloved golden retrievers. Rest In Peace Dr. Jacobs.
Susan Moran
May 18, 2019
I recently heard of Dr. Jacobs passing and I am still disheartened. He was my physician for over fifteen years. He will be sorely missed; not just for his profound fund of knowledge but also for his empathy. In these times where the practice of medicine is just part of a juggernaut healthcare industry, Dr. Jacobs was a traditional "old-school" doc, who always listened and was a fiduciary for his patients. No electronic records for him. He would sit behind his desk, look you in the eye and take out his fountain pen to write in his medical record. That rarely happens today in medicine. I'll miss his warmth, his kindness and wry humor. My sincerest condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.
YVONNE S THORNTON, MD
May 17, 2019
I just learned today of Dr. Jacob's passing. I am so saddened by this news. He was my physician for many years, and always took the time to ask about my life, my work, my family - he felt as much a friend as a doctor. He was truly a gifted physician and a very fine person. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.
Stephanie Pollish
May 14, 2019
I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear this. Tom was my doctor for 35 years and I will miss him terribly; he was unfailingly helpful, always ready to tackle a problem with me, a superb practitioner, a good friend. My very deepest condolences to the family.
Barbara Black
May 13, 2019
Dr Jacob, we will miss you. I was your your patient for many years. You finally found the cause of my medical problem which you published to inform others. My wife and I were ushered by you from the waiting room to your office. I sat in front of you while you took notes with your faithful fountain pen. You had a subdued sense of humor. You left us too suddenly. I will never forget you. A patient,
John Tavantzis
May 6, 2019
I just learned today of the passing of Dr. Jacobs. Our family had a decades-long relationship with him as grateful patients. He was so wise and gentle and kindly. I will miss him and never forget him....To his family, my sympathies. We were all lucky to know him.
Leonard Orr
May 6, 2019
I just came to know of the passing of Dr. Jacobs. I last saw him in January. He was a warm, caring and compassionate doctor. My deepest condolences to his wife and family.
Venkatesh
May 2, 2019
My deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Jacobs. He was a kind, witty and empathetic doctor, he treated my daughter and always greeted us with a smile and great care! He will be missed. I thank him for his care over the past several years!
Lisa Mayer
Lisa Mayer
Acquaintance
April 29, 2019
I am very sorry to learn this morning of the passing of Dr. Jacobs. I am a long time and very grateful patient and I will miss him. My condolences to his family and his colleagues at the hospital.
John P St John
April 29, 2019
Dr. Jacobs was an amazing person. A
wonderful caring doctor. Our condolences
to his wife and children. We will miss him a huge loss for all of us.
Bill Zink
April 25, 2019
I was Dr. Jacobs' patient for over thirty years. He was the perfect embodiment of the Greek ideal of Agape, with a heart big enough for everybody. Just seeing him made me feel better, in great part because his love of life was so infectious. And his quick but kindly wit could often see the comical side of things, which was so reassuring to a frightened patient. Always I remember his You'll be all right. And he was always correct. He was one of those rare people that you can always count on, and who could always figure things out.
My condolences to his family, whom I sort of got to know from their pictures on his office wall and his anecdotes. It was so clear the he felt himself blessed to have them.
Marie Bardos
April 23, 2019
I am one of those for whom Dr. Jacobs, although I only knew him for a short time, was a very special person. He saved my life. My condolences to his family. Such a loss.
April 22, 2019
Dr. Jacobs was a wonderful physician and teacher. His knowledge and sense of humanity and humor always made visits to his office a pleasure--especially as a patient. My condolences to the Jacobs family.
June Wu
April 22, 2019
I am truly heart broken to hear of the passing of Dr. Jacob's. He was an amazing doctor with so much compassion and empathy and I truly feel we have lost one of the best doctors I have ever been too. My condolences go out to his family and friends.
Catherine Politi
April 21, 2019
We mourn loss of this precious individual,a friend,a colleague with great sense of humor and a true physician.
Every patient,that I referred to him, returned with utter satisfaction and gratitude for the care he provided. His loss is irreplaceable.
My heartfelt condolences to the family.
Laxmi Baxi
April 20, 2019
We are so saddened to hear this news. Our family has so many warm memories of Dr. J and his beautiful family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Patricia Hall Abbott and the Hall family
Tenafly, NJ
April 20, 2019
Dr. Jacobs was an incredible human being and a superb physician. I will miss greatly his acumen and his caring nature. A great loss to the field of medicine and humanity. My sincerest condolences to Jacobs family.
ABBY BERGMAN
April 20, 2019
Dear Family & Friends,
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your Loved One comfort you and your Family, today and always. May God's Loyal Love bring you comfort. Psalms 100:5. Deepest Condolences.
G.
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