Michael Richard Antopol – Colonel, United States Army

Colonel Michael R. Antopol, Medical Corps, United States Army, died on August 8, 1989 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. after a short illness.

Colonel Antopol, a 26-year veteran of the Army, was a cardiothoracic surgeon and a native of Newark, New Jersey, where he was born on September 1, 1939. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Johns Hopkins University, a masters of science degree from New York University and his medical degree from New York Medical College. All of his postgraduate medical education was at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco and included residencies in general and thoracic surgery.

From 1970 to 1971, Colonel Anopol served with the 1st Cavalry Division in the Republic of Vietnam. After completion of his surgical training he served in numerous assignments which included Chief of Thoracic Surgery and the Department of Surgery at Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort Benning, Georgia, Consultant in Surgery to the Army Surgeon General, and Assistant Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

In 1984, Colonel Antopol became Chief of the Department of Surgery, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas. He subsequently became Deputy Commander for Clinical Services and Director of Medical Education. In 1987 he assumed command and guided the Medical Center through some of its most trying times. He then served as Special Assistant to the Surgeon General of the Army and had been selected to attend the prestigious Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Colonel Antopol's military decorations included the Legion of Merit, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. He was also the recipient of the Order of Military Medical Merit.

He was certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Surgery, and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Cardiology, and the American College of Thoracic Surgery. He was a member of numerous military and professional societies.

Colonel Antopol held numerous university appointments. Most recently, he was Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Community activities included Instructor, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course, American College of Physicians, Member, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery, American Heart Association, Advisory Director, Board of Directors, Army Medical Department Museum Foundation, Member, Board of Directors, San Antonio Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and Honorary Military Members, Rotary International.

Colonel Antopol was survived by his wife and by his brother, Stephen Antopol, M.D. of Connecticut. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Colonel Michael R. Antopol Fund at the Army Medical Department Museum Foundation, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234.

Following services at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel, Colonel Antopol was interred in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery, where he rests near other Army Medical innovators such as Walter Reed and Jonathan Letterman

This information was kindly provided by his wife, Beverly Antopol, who retired from the Army Nurse Corps as a Colonel. In her accompanying note, Beverly wrote: “Ironically, Michael died following a heart attack and cardiac surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center – in the same Intensive Care Unit where we met – I had earlier been the head nurse and he was a staff cardiovascular surgeon.”

Thank you, Beverly, for sharing Michael with us.

antopol1Colonel Michael R. Antopol, 1987









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