Former division chief and distinguished clinician-scientist passes away

Alan Jay Block, M.D., former chief of the University of Florida College of Medicine’s division of pulmonary and critical care medicine, died Saturday, Dec. 5 after an extended illness. He was 71.

“Within a few years after joining the UF faculty, Jay had established the division as one of the best in the southeast,” said Dr. Michael Good, interim dean of the UF College of Medicine, in a recent announcement.

Dr. Block joined the COM faculty in 1970 as professor of medicine and anesthesiology.  He retired on July 1, 1998.

Dr. Block was known among fellows, residents and medical students for his commitment to patient care and his encyclopedic knowledge of pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Alan Jay Block, M.D.

Alan Jay Block, M.D.

“I remember Jay as an inspiring teacher and effective consultant, helping me care for my patients with lung disease, and truly understand the pathophysiology underlying their symptoms,” Good said.

Dr. Block was a highly successful and nationally recognized clinician-scientist, teacher and scholar.  He was considered to be one of the fathers of sleep medicine in the nation and a thought-leader in the use of long-term oxygen therapy for the treatment of pulmonary disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  He was elected president of the American College of Chest Physicians in 1988 and served as the editor-in-chief of the journal CHEST for 13 years.

Dr. Block is survived by his wife, Linda; two daughters, Margo Cook and Allison Jaffe; three grandchildren; and brother, Edward R. Block, M.D., chairman of the department of medicine at UF.