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Newport Beach

Volume 6, Issue 62  | August 3, 2021

Take Five: Meet Dr. Dore Gilbert, Newport Beach physician and Army Lieutenant Colonel


Dr. Dore Gilbert’s career path – USC medical school, a Newport Beach private practice affiliated with Hoag Hospital and mayor of the city of Laguna Hills – always lacked something important to him: military service. His father and grandfather served, but he missed the Vietnam War because of medical school. He thought about enlisting in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but there were family and practice commitments to consider. Finally at age 60 – the oldest possible age for physicians – he enlisted in the Army, and after months on a waiting list, he became Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert in the U.S. Army Medical Corps Reserve.

In 2011 at age 61, he was deployed to a combat theater in Afghanistan. He also served in the Army Reserves from 2010 until 2015. On Saturday (March 9), he will be recognized at the Hoag Classic on Military Appreciation Day, when the golf tournament’s second round will honor past and present military personnel with an opening ceremony that will include the National Anthem, a color guard procession, patriotic music and a flyover – and all active duty, military reserve, National Guard, military retirees and veterans – and up to three guests each – will receive complimentary admission with food and beverage to thank them for their service. I caught up with Dr. Gilbert to ask about his service and how it feels to be recognized at the Hoag Classic. 

Take Five Dore Gilbert

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Courtesy of Dr. Dore Gilbert

Dr. Dore Gilbert, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel

Q: You grew up in a family with a tradition of military service. Did you ever feel pressured to join the military, or did the desire come from within?

A: Both my grandparents served in World War I. My Dad was a tail gunner on a B-17 during World War II. I never felt any pressure to join. I joined because I wanted to serve my country during a time of war. I just felt it was my duty as a citizen and physician. I have always served my community – 29 years on the Board of Education and six years on the Laguna Hills City Council. I am currently the Mayor of Laguna Hills. Service has always been part of my life.

Q: What were you hoping to accomplishment by serving in the military, and did you succeed with those goals?

A: When I joined, my goal was to go to basic training and be able to compete with the younger soldiers and then, volunteer for deployment. My goals were met, and my deployment was absolutely one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Q: I understand you were stationed just outside of Kabul in a combat theater. What was your most frightening experience, or most memorable experience?

A: Every time I went out to see one of the 10 bases I was responsible for, I was always concerned about being attacked. I think starting “walking blood banks” in the Kabul Base Cluster (10 bases with 10,000 soldiers) was my best accomplishment, and I was rewarded with a medal and a seat at the general staff meetings. (Note: According to the Laguna Hills city website, Dr. Gilbert’s other awards include a Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Afghan Campaign Medal with Campaign Bronze Star Device, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, ISAF NATO Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and an Army Overseas Ribbon.)

Q: What are you up to now? Did your service change your approach to medicine here in the U.S.?

A: I am back in private practice where I am the medical director of Newport Dermatology & Laser Associates. We have done over 35,000 laser cases, as well as general dermatology.

Q: What advice do you have for a doctor considering military service?

A: Follow your dreams. You will always be proud of your service.

Editor’s Note: On Saturday, March 9, the Hoag Classic Military Appreciation Day festivities will include an Opening Ceremony at 9:15 a.m. and Salute to Service with a live musical performance by John Daly & Jocko Deal at 5:15 p.m., both taking place in the Victory Lounge. Come out to show your support for those who currently serve and have served our country.

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