Carl Mogil, 78, of Cherry Hill, an orthopedic surgeon in South Jersey who midway through his career became an educator, died Wednesday, May 20, of complications from prostate cancer at Lankenau Medical Center.
Dr. Mogil lived in South Jersey until several years ago, when he moved to Lower Merion to be nearer family. For the last 17 months, he had lived at the Hearth at Drexel, an assisted-living facility in Bala Cynwyd.
A product of humble roots, Dr. Mogil grew up in North Philadelphia. He lived with three siblings and their parents, Morris L. and Reba S. Mogilefsky, above the Mogilefsky Pharmacy, which his father had opened in the 1930s at Franklin and Columbia Streets. Dr. Mogil and his two brothers changed their name to Mogil for ease of use.
The family moved in the early 1950s to Elkins Park, where Dr. Mogil, more than 6 feet tall, starred on the football team at Cheltenham High School.
His daughter, Jamie, said Dr. Mogil “was such a big man that he appeared forbidding, but any patient or colleague could tell you how gentle he was.”
Dr. Mogil graduated from pharmacy school at Temple University. He earned a doctor of osteopathy degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in the 1960s and began a career as an orthopedic surgeon.
He and a group of physicians founded Regional Orthopedics in Sewell and Cherry Hill. In July 1980, they opened the Sports Medicine Center in Heritage Village, one of the earliest sports-medicine facilities in South Jersey, the family said.
“We are integrating the medical and non-medical aspects to physical fitness,” he told the Camden Courier-Post in October 1980. “This is a pre-competitive profile of the athlete.” The center also offered physical therapy and treatment for sports injuries, he told the newspaper.
In the mid-1980s, he became section head of orthopedics at Kennedy Memorial Hospitals/University Medical Center, Cherry Hill Division. Kennedy is now part of the Cooper health system.
During the late 1990s, after a distinguished career as an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Mogil switched to education.
He was named assistant dean of graduate medical education at what became Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, now part of Jefferson Health. Formerly, Rowan was the osteopathic medical school of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
In his new role, Dr. Mogil was responsible for training hundreds of future orthopedic surgeons, said Dean Thomas A. Cavalieri, under whom he worked.
“He was a great teacher, a great mentor, and many of his graduates went on to be great orthopedic surgeons in New Jersey and across the country,” Cavalieri said.
Dr. Mogil served as president of the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics in 1988 and 1989, and was on the academy’s board of directors from 1980 to 1990. He also sat on multiple committees of the professional group. He was named the academy’s 2014 distinguished award winner for his contributions.
Dr. Mogil had a chance to experience medicine as a patient when he became severely allergic to a prescribed medication. He was hospitalized in Philadelphia with skin blisters and was in rehabilitation at Saunders House in Wynnewood for a year.
“He literally came back from the dead,” said his daughter. “He had an incredible will to live.”
Once back at the Hearth at Drexel, he read, painted, and studied ways to educate seniors so that they could make prudent decisions about their health care.
“He was working with us [at Rowan] until just weeks before he passed to sponsor education programs for seniors to make their own decisions on health care,” Cavalieri said. “He was clearly someone that in my opinion left this world a much, much better place.”
Dr. Mogil was married to Robin Adler and, later, Susan Stead. The marriages ended in divorce. Both survive.
Besides his daughter, he is survived by children Matthew, Jarrod, Seth, and Kati; three grandchildren; a brother and a sister; and a large extended family.
A celebration of life was delayed by the pandemic and is being planned for late this summer.