Public service is nothing new to Dore Gilbert, MD. His father and grandfather both served in the United States military. He served 29 years as an elected member of his local school board while building his Newport Beach, California-based dermatology practice. Well-known in the medical aesthetic community as a leader in the use of aesthetic laser technologies, Dr Gilbert is also a researcher and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California-Irvine. But even these accomplishments pale in comparison to his latest venture.
At an age when most people start looking forward to retirement, Dr. Gilbert was eyeing military service. Just shy of his 60th birthday, he became Lt. Colonel Dore Gilbert of the United States Army Reserves. “I have always wanted the opportunity to give back to my country. I was in college and medical school during and after Vietnam, and I have always felt a little guilty about that,” he says. He looked into enlisting in the 1980s and again in the 1990s, “but the rules required physicians to be mobilized for a year. I could never have kept my practice and family afloat that long in my absence,” he says. Since that time, the army has changed its mobilization policy for physicians in the reserves, now limiting deployments to four months at a time. By 2009, Dr. Gilbert’s five children were grown and his youngest son had joined the Marine Corps. His practice was secure and thriving. It was time to make the commitment.
Photography by Armando Sanchez