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Melvin H. Rodman, former medical director at MIT Medical, dies at 90

As medical director, Rodman shaped MIT Medical into its present form, most notably in leading its 1982 move from Building 11 to its current home in Building E23.
Melvin H. Rodman, M.D., former medical director at MIT Medical and professor of medicine at MIT, passed away on Aug. 12. He was 90.

Rodman was a Massachusetts native who grew up in Malden where his father was a physician. He began his own medical career in 1942 when he graduated from Harvard University and headed across the river to the Boston University School of Medicine. After earning his M.D. from BU in 1945, he served briefly in the U.S. Navy and spent time as an instructor at the Yale School of Medicine.

In 1959, he began working at MIT Medical as an internist and pulmonologist, becoming the medical director in 1977, a position in which he served until his retirement from the Institute in 1984. During Rodman’s tenure, MIT Medical grew to become more like the department it is today. Most notably, in 1982, Rodman was instrumental in moving the campus medical facility from Building 11 to its current home in building E23. He also was a key player in helping to grow the MIT Health Plan.

“The department built up and expanded during his time,” says Dr. Michael Kane, former associate director of MIT Medical. “The number and scope of services increased under his direction.”

Among Rodman’s many hobbies was a love for maintaining and driving cars, specifically fast ones. Just two days before his death, he visited MIT Medical for the last time. He arrived driving his Chrysler Sebring convertible.

Rodman is survived by his wife Jo-Ann; three daughters, Linda, Lauren and Gail; his son, David; and his granddaughter, Danielle.

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