After 6 decades of devotion, the doctor is out

Dr. Roman DeSanctis said he has “always been a people person.’’
Dr. Roman DeSanctis said he has “always been a people person.’’David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

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Whenever King Hassan II of Morocco fell sick, his emissary would telephone Dr. Roman DeSanctis in Boston. The next day, DeSanctis would board a plane for the royal palace. One day, a truck rolled up to DeSanctis’s home in Winchester. Out came 21 handmade Moroccan rugs, a surprise thank you for being on call from 3,500 miles away.

The Massachusetts General Hospital cardiologist took care of other VIPs, too, during his six decades at the hospital: John Wayne, Red Auerbach, and Henry Kissinger. Yet, even as DeSanctis’s reputation as an expert diagnostician grew, ordinary people could still get appointments. If they were patient.

At 83, he retires Friday.

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