Reproductive Health Specialist Jay Grodin, 67

Jay Grodin was among the first physicians in the area to specialize in reproductive health.
Jay Grodin was among the first physicians in the area to specialize in reproductive health. (Family Photo)
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By Matt Schudel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 14, 2008

Jay M. Grodin, 67, a leading infertility and reproductive medicine specialist who also held hospital administrative positions and was a clinical professor of medicine, died of a heart attack Jan. 10 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. He lived in Potomac.

Dr. Grodin, whose early training was as an obstetrician and gynecologist, came to Washington in 1970 as director of reproductive endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health. In 1972, he opened a private practice in Bethesda.

Along with one of his medical partners, Oscar I. Dodek Jr., Dr. Grodin was among the first physicians in the Washington region to specialize in reproductive health. His family said that he helped parents give birth to about 1,000 children through the introduction of fertility drugs, in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination and other advanced techniques.

"About 14 percent of the average population has difficulty conceiving," Dr. Grodin told The Washington Post in 1993. "With increasing age, that number gets higher and higher."

Dr. Grodin's interest in reproductive medicine derived from personal experience, when he and his wife had difficulty conceiving a child. Their daughter, Stephanie, now 42, was among the first children in the United States born through the help of fertility drugs.

From 1987 to 1997, Dr. Grodin was medical director of the Montgomery Fertility Institute. In 1993, he attended a picnic in Gaithersburg with about 150 couples he had helped overcome infertility problems.

"I had no idea there were so many others," one mother told The Post, as she surveyed the children in the crowd. "You can't visualize what an impact [reproductive] technology has created. Look at all these children."

In addition to his work on infertility, Dr. Grodin was an authority on hormone replacement therapy and menopause.

Dr. Grodin had been a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University since 1972, and he was a longtime consultant in gynecology with the NIH.

He also held many leadership positions at Suburban Hospital, where he was the current chairman of the medical staff. He also chaired the hospital's credentials committee, surgery department and gynecology subsection and was a member of the ethics, finance and medical affairs committees.

Jay Myron Grodin was born in Philadelphia and grew up on Long Island, N.Y. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y., and graduated from Philadelphia's Jefferson Medical College in 1965.

He served his internship in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was an instructor at State University of New York's Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. In the late 1960s, he spent a year as a research fellow in gynecologic endocrinology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He served as an Air Force Reserve medical officer from 1966 to 1970.

Dr. Grodin was a member of many medical and scientific societies and was a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Endocrinology and the International College of Surgeons.

He was also president of the Washington chapters of the Hobart College Alumni Association and the Jefferson Medical College Alumni Association.

He was a member of the Washington Hebrew Congregation and served as president of its brotherhood.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Linda W. Grodin of Potomac; two children, Stephanie G. Letchinger of Chicago and Rick S. Grodin of New York; a sister; and two grandchildren.

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