The son of a Gary, Indiana lawyer, Dubin attended Shimer College in Illinois from 1956 to 1958. Then as now, Shimer offers an early entrance program for students younger than the traditional college age. He transferred to Indiana University, where he graduated in 1961 with an A.B. in zoology. He subsequently attended medical school at the University of South Florida, becoming licensed to practice medicine in Florida in 1973.
Dubin gained fame within the medical community with the 1972 publication of Rapid Interpretation of EKG's, a best-selling textbook suited for medical students and junior residents. In it, Dubin adopts a simplified fill-in-the-blank style to teach the basics of reading electrocardiograms. Dubin originally developed the book while a medical student, when he became frustrated with the lack of a simple introduction to the subject. Initially unable to find a publisher for the text, he turned to self-publishing for the first run in 1970, when he was a surgical resident, and he and his wife distributed the book by sneaking copies into medical libraries. By 1986, the book had sold more than 350,000 copies and been translated into 14 languages.
From 1973 to 1986, Dubin practiced plastic surgery in Tampa, Florida. He did not suffer a single malpractice claim during this period, and built a million-dollar complex to house his practice.
Dubin, then age 46, was arrested in 1986 and pled guilty to charges related to child pornography and cocaine. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison and his Florida medical license was revoked. After his release in 1989, he continued to update his textbooks, and also operates a number of medical education websites.
In the fiftieth printing of the book in 2001, Dubin hid within the copyright notice an offer to give his prized 1965 Ford Thunderbird to anyone who actually read the message and responded. Out of 60,000 copies in that printing, only 5 readers noticed and responded, and Dubin's own daughter delivered the car to the winner (selected by a random drawing).
In addition to his medical work, Dubin was for a time an avid hibiscus grower; a variety ("Dragon's Breath") he developed won Hibiscus of the Year in 1999. He has also been a collector of gemstones, and in 1972 he created what was then the world's largest gem, the "Brazilian Princess" topaz valued at $1 million, by repeated radiation treatments of a 9.5-pound topaz that he had purchased for $600. The stone now resides in the American Museum of Natural History.
- "Shimer College Alumni News". Shimer College Bulletin. May 1970.
- "Early Entrant Program". Shimer College. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
- Arbutus Yearbook. Indiana University. 1961. p. 172.
- "Healthcare Practitioner License Display: Dale B Dubin". Florida Department of Health. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
- Sullivan, Patrick (2001). "Book Review: Rapid Interpretation of EKG's, 6th edition.". Canadian Journal of Anesthesia 48: 1050.
- Dubin, Dale (2000). Rapid Interpretation of EKG's (6th ed.). Tampa, FL: Cover Publishing. ISBN 0-912912-06-5.
- Alex Beasley (1986-09-01). "Deep trouble undercut doctor's fine success". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
- Fine print redux: beneficent doctor made child pornos, Yale Daily News, 7 December 2001
- Nossiter, Adam (1986). "Doctor's arrest upsets his nudist neighbors". St. Petersburg Times.
- "Deep Trouble Undercut Doctor's Fine Success". Orlando Sentinel. 1 September 1986.
- "Dale Dubin Sentenced To Five Years". United Press International. 7 March 1987.
- Caroline Massad (2001-12-05). "Read the fine print: Student wins T-bird". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
- Dubin, Dale (2003). Ion Adventure in the Heartland: Exploring the Heart's Ionic-Molecular Microcosm. Cover Publishing Company. ISBN 0-912912-11-1.
- Dubin, Dale (1972). Understanding Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation. C.P.R. Inc.
- "Hibiscus International #14-2". Internationalhibiscussociety.org. 2003-05-09. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Steven R. Hill (2002). "Botanizing With Mallows Aforethought". American Butterflies.
- Brian Silverman & Kelsy Chauvin (2012). Frommer's New York Ciy 2012. p. 253. ISBN 1118331443.