Dr. Sigmund Newman, 73, a Washington area physican for more than 40 years and a retired staff member of the Veterans Administration Hospital here, died Thursday at the University Nursing Home in Silver Spring following a stroke. He had lived at the nursing home for about two months.

Dr. Newman was born in Richmond. He graduated from the University of Virginia and earned a medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia.

In 1932, he joined a practice in Herndon and a year later opened his own office in Vienna.

During World War II, he was a doctor in the Navy Medical Corps. He left the service in 1946 with the rank of commander.

After the war, Dr. Newman took further medical training and became a radiologist. He set up a practice in Arlinton in which he specialized in radiology. In the early 1950s, he was chief of radiology at the old Gallinger Municipal Hospital, now D.C. General Hospital.

In 1966, Dr. Newman joined the staff of the VA Hospital in Washington. He retired about 1973.

He was certified by the American Board of Radiology and was a member of the Arlington County Medical Society and other professional groups.

Survivors include his wife, Rita L., of the home in Silver Spring; two daughters, L. Miriam Perper, of the home, and Lona N. Ross, of Newport News, Va.; a son, Michael L., of Silver Spring, and eight grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind in Washington. CAPTION: Picture, DR. SIGMUND NEWMAN