Max Gomez, Longtime TV Medical Reporter, Dies at 72

Max Gomez, an award-winning medical and science journalist who delivered knowledgeable studies for greater than 40 years on TV stations in New York and Philadelphia, most lately throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, died on Sept. 2 at his dwelling in Manhattan. He was 72.

His associate, Amy Levin, stated the trigger was head and neck most cancers, with which he had been identified 4 years in the past.

Billed as “Dr. Max,” he introduced an easygoing gravitas to reporting on topics like vaccinations, knee replacements, prostate most cancers, colonoscopies, sickle cell anemia and, when he himself contracted them, Lyme illness and the MRSA an infection. One in all his studies on Alzheimer’s illness targeted on his father, a doctor, who was swindled as his reminiscence deserted him.

Dr. Gomez had been chief medical correspondent at WCBS, Channel 2, in New York Metropolis since 2007 and made his final look there in March 2022. He additionally labored at WNBC, Channel 4, and WNEW, Channel 5 (now WNYW), in addition to KYW, Channel 3, in Philadelphia.

“What he did greatest was to care deeply and mix that with having the ability to clarify advanced issues so nicely that common people may perceive them,” Dan Forman, a former managing editor of the Channel 2 information division, stated by telephone. “And he would activate it by serving to viewers discover the assistance they wanted.”

Dr. Gomez gained seven native Emmy Awards in New York and two in Philadelphia, and a few of his work was seen nationally, on the CBS Information program “48 Hours” and on NBC Information. He was additionally a semifinalist in NASA’s journalist-in-space program, which was suspended indefinitely after the shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, and a co-author of three books, amongst them “Cells Are the New Remedy: The Reducing-Edge Medical Breakthroughs That Are Remodeling Our Well being” (2017, with Dr. Robin L. Smith).

He was an everyday presence on Channel 2 from the beginning of the pandemic, when there have been only a few identified Covid circumstances in the US. For 2 years, as he handled most cancers, he defined the medical points dealing with viewers; confirmed how the coronavirus mutates; and sorted via an infection knowledge and research.

He was not a medical physician — he had a doctorate in neuroscience — and he and the stations the place he labored have been typically criticized for referring to him as Dr. Max Gomez. “Max doesn’t inform folks he’s an M.D., nor will we,” Paula Walker, then an assistant information director at Channel 4, advised The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991. “In our estimation, he’s in all probability extra knowledgeable than the typical well being reporter.”

Maximo Marcelino Gomez III was born on Aug. 9, 1951, in Havana and moved to Miami together with his household three years later. His father was an obstetrician and gynecologist; his mom, Concepción (Nespral) Gomez, labored for Cubana Airways, Cuba’s nationwide service, and later for Avianca, the most important airline in Colombia.

After graduating from Princeton College in 1973 with a bachelor’s diploma in geosciences, Dr. Gomez earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Wake Forest College Faculty of Drugs in 1978. He then grew to become a Nationwide Institutes of Well being postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller College in Manhattan.

Whereas learning there, he selected to not pursue a profession in analysis or academia, however slightly to search for work within the media that might make use of his scientific background.

“After I first determined to go after tv, it was as a result of I believed that if I didn’t, 20 years from now I’d be saying, ‘What if?’” he advised The Philadelphia Day by day Information in 1985.

He added: “Why tv? Effectively, if I stated cash and ego aren’t a part of it, then I’d be mendacity to you or to myself.”

He contacted Mark Monsky, the information director of Channel 5’s “10 O’Clock Information,” who gave him a one-month tryout in July 1980 that became a four-year keep. Whereas there, Dr. Gomez was one of many first tv reporters to give attention to the AIDS disaster, based on Ms. Levin, who was then a producer on the station.

Dr. Gomez moved to KYW in late 1984 and stayed there for six years. Whereas there, he acquired an award from United Press Worldwide for his documentary on AIDS. He later acquired an award from New York Metropolis’s well being division for his protection of the 9/11 assaults whereas he was working for Channel 4.

“Concern and nervousness ranges have been uncontrolled within the metropolis, however we have been spending the primary 20 minutes of each broadcast scaring the residing daylights out of individuals,” he stated in an interview in 2016 for the publication of CaringKind, an nonprofit Alzheimer’s caregiving group, “after which, as my information director stated, on the finish of the present, I had 90 seconds to speak them off the ledge.”

He moved to Channel 2 in 1994 and returned to Channel 4 in 1997 the place, after practically a decade, he was let go when the station lower prices. He got here again to Channel 2 in 2007.

Along with Ms. Levin, Dr. Gomez is survived by a daughter, Katie Gomez; a son, Max IV; and a brother, George. His marriage to SuElyn Charnesky led to divorce.

Within the 1985 Philadelphia Day by day Information interview, Dr. Gomez stated that he seen his function critically: Being on tv, he stated, gave him credibility and a significant duty.

“I really feel I owe it to folks to be their first filter,” he stated. “So if I’m speaking a few well being treatment, I wish to know the place has this info been revealed. I current the most effective product I can. I do know that it’s scientifically correct.”

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