July 4, 2019
by San Francisco Chronicle
Alan Malouf, known as “the dentist to the stars” in San Francisco society, died June 29 in Hillsborough of a recurrence of multiple myeloma. Malouf was 62. His death was confirmed by his sister, Carol Malouf Atkeson.
“Alan passed away at my home surrounded by family who loved him,” said Atkeson. “He was a doting big brother to me and devoted to his nieces and nephews. He built one of the most respected dental practices in San Francisco and will be deeply missed by his family, friends and patients.”
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Oh, my God!!! I am appalled to hear this!
I was a patient of Dr. Malouf since the early 1990s, when a co-worker/friend referred me to him. She had had extensive dental work done by him and highly recommended him.
I found Dr. Malouf to be very soft-spoken, kind, forthright, and meticulous– especially meticulous. In one procedure, he spent nearly an hour replacing an old filling, checking again and again to make sure the filling fit perfectly against the contours of the opposing tooth. My former dentist– a likeable but not exactly painstaking fellow– would have completed the procedure in 15 minutes, and if the result wasn’t “perfect,” he would have called it “good enough.”
And that’s the real difference between a true “professional” and an amateur. For a true professional, only “the best that I can possibly do” is acceptable– and anything less is just not “good enough.”
Not until many years afterward did I learn that Alan was a “celebrity” dentist, or that he was from a wealthy family, or that he was a “San Francisco socialite”– and I was shocked when I did learn that. There had never been ANYTHING in his demeanor or behavior to suggest such a thing– not the slightest hint of snobbery, or arrogance, or condescension, or… anything at all. From his demeanor and behavior alone, I would never have guessed that he was anything but just a very skilled, dedicated dentist. For all I knew, he might just as well have started out as a poor man who worked his way up from nowhere.
Finding out that he was rich, well-known, and catered to “celebrities” made me admire him all the more– precisely because I never would have guessed any of that from my own interactions with him.
I am not a “celebrity.” I am not “rich.” I am not “famous.” And yet, Alan Malouf treated me with the utmost kindness, courtesy, and respect, with an appealing mixture of cordiality, humor, and forthrightness. Having dealt with a few arrogant jerks who seemed to believe that having become “doctors” or “dentists” or “what-have-you” entitled them to look down upon me and treat me in a condescending, dismissive, insulting manner, I can fully recognize and appreciate– and admire– Alan’s rare ability to deal on a person-to-person level.
I am very sad to hear that Alan Malouf has died– but on the other hand, I am very grateful to have known him.
He was also gay – so sad that because of his practice and socialite status – he couldn’t come out …
RIP – my friend !!!
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