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Remembering Malcolm Henderson Rourk, Jr, MD

Monday, September 7, 2020
Malcolm Henderson Rourke, Jr.

Malcolm Henderson Rourk, Jr, MD, died on Friday, September 4.

Dr. Rourk was an assistant professor of pediatrics from 1971 - 2002 and an assistant professor of family medicine and community health from 1994 – 1995 at Duke University Medical Center. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College in 1958 with a BA in English. As a Fulbright scholar, he spent a year in Germany studying and conducting research. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1963, followed by service as a captain in the US Air Force from 1965 – 1968 at Eglin Air Force Base. He completed his residency in pediatrics and fellowship in pulmonology.

Following fellowship training, Dr. Rourk came to Duke where he provided care for children with cystic fibrosis who frequently also suffer from disorders associated with the gastrointestinal tract. Because there was no Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Duke at this time, his clinical practice ultimately expanded to caring for children with a broad range of gastrointestinal disorders. In the early 1980’s, Dr. Rourk took a sabbatical year to train in pediatric gastroenterology at the University of North Carolina. He then returned to Duke and was instrumental in the creation of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

As a member of the faculty, Dr. Rourk was a long-standing member of the Admissions Committee for the School of Medicine and served as the pediatric residency program director of recruitment for his final several years at Duke.

Long-time friend and colleague, Richard Kravitz, MD, commented, “To me, Henderson was the prototypical southern gentleman. He was kind, generous, knowledgeable, and had a great sense of humor. While I never worked with him as a practicing physician, I did interact with him on medical school admissions and residency selection. I would always enjoy our conversations in his office in the old fifth floor chair’s suite. He was a staple at the Spock Symposium. Simply put, he was a pleasure to be around, and I always left our conversations with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I have missed seeing him on a regular basis since his formal retirement.”


Memorial service information is available in his official obituary.