The Borovsky family in Russia: Regina Dorman (center) with her father, Dr. Mark Borovsky, and mother, Irene, a construction engineer.
A young Regina Dorman in the lab coat she wore to accompany her father on his Sunday rounds. “I was a ‘daddy’s girl’ for sure,” she said.
Russian native Dr. Mark Borovsky was only 7 at the outbreak of World War II. Despite enduring severe hardships as a Jew — including near starvation and the deaths of half his family at the hands of the Nazis — he grew up to become a prominent surgeon, respected professor and “saint” to his patients. For all these reasons and more, his daughter Dr. Regina Dorman, a family medicine physician and alumna of the Summa Health Family Medicine Residency Program, honored him with a gift to Summa Health.
“Early in his career, my father practiced as the sole physician in a rural area of Russia. For three years, he was on call 24/7 doing whatever surgery was needed,” said Dr. Dorman. “The pay was miniscule, often in the form of chickens and vegetables left on the porch.”
Dr. Borovsky once removed the cancerous esophagus of an elderly woman and reconstructed it using a transplanted piece of her colon, said Dr. Dorman. The procedure, the first of its kind in Russia, saved the patient’s life, she said. “Her grateful son brought us sacks of potatoes, carrots, cabbages, beets and sunflower seeds every fall for the rest of his life.”
Dr. Borovsky later became a professor at his alma mater, Saratov State School of Medicine, where he was renowned for his encyclopedic mind, surgical skill and compassionate patient care. Among other accomplishments, he invented a formula to calculate intraoperative blood loss that was revolutionary at the time, said his daughter.
“My dad was my rock. I grew up surrounded by his books. He took me with him every Sunday on rounds.”
After earning a medical degree at the same school as her father, Dr. Dorman immigrated to Akron in 1992, completing her internship and residency at Summa Health.
“Summa is my home,” she said. “I wanted to tell my father’s story here, to let the world know about his legacy of service and what a wonderful person he is.” Dr. Dorman’s generous gift in her father’s honor is recognized on a plaque outside a patient room in the new tower.
When Dr. Dorman took her parents to see the plaque honoring Dr. Borovsky, she said, “My father was near tears with emotion.”
An edited version of this story appears in the Winter 2020 edition of Promise magazine.
Dr. Regina Dorman with her father, Dr. Mark Borovsky, who is now retired and living in Akron with his wife of 56 years, Irene.