Dr. Robert Arthur Turkel passed away on July 11, 2021. He was born in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1933 and moved to Tampa in 1944. He attended college at the University of Florida, attended medical school at Tulane University graduating 6th in his class. He did an internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and then served as a flight surgeon for 2 years in the Air Force. He returned to Miami to complete a residency and fellowship in cardiology at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr Turkel then returned to Tampa to form one of the first internal medicine and cardiology groups with Drs David Bauman, Edward Straub and Peter O Knight IV.
He practiced successfully for many years, served as Vice Chief of Staff at Tampa General Hospital, and was instrumental in the founding of Memorial Hospital. He started EKG Associates, initiated the fire rescue approach that still operates in Tampa today. Dr Turkel was a member of the Hillsborough Medical Society, a fellow in the American College of Internal Medicine, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Cardiology. He earned a Distinguished Sewrvice Award from the latter organization. He served as president of the Tampa Chapter of the American Heart Association. In his later career he founded Florida Medical Quality Assurance which oversaw medicare contracts for hospitals and doctors in the state of Florida. Dr Turkel retired in 1997 for health issues.
He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Elinor, and their daughters Julie Turkel and Katherine Rosenfeld and her husband Doug, and his granddaughters Anna and Elizabeth Rosenfeld and Justine and Romy Abrahamson. Dr Turkel will similarly be missed by his beloved twin brother Richard Turkel and his wife Sandy as well his brother in law and sister in law Dr. Barry and Arline Verkauf and other loved nieces and nephews.