REUNIONS AROUND THE NATION 2009
Honors Awarded at SUNY Downstate Medical Center
The impressive array of brainpower at a recent reunion of doctors of all ages at SUNY Downstate Medical Center (DMC) was only surpassed by the unwavering service to humanity and the humility demonstrated by so many attendees. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “Never have so few done so much for so many.”
Among those singled out for master teacher awards were Herman Rosen, M.D., Special Recognition Award in Nephrology; Emanuel Stein, M.D., Special Recognition in Cardiology; Nieca Goldberg, M.D., Award in Women’s Health. Florence Kavaler, M.D. received a Lifetime Achievement Award and William Solomon, M.D. was made an Honorary Alumnus.
Just a few blocks from the Marriott Hotel in downtown Brooklyn where the weekend festivities took place, amidst the pungent aroma of Arabic food and antiques stood the original medical school, previously known as the Long Island College of Medicine. Empty, still a strong architectural presence, the children playing and parents chatting in the adjacent playground were unaware of the historic medical roots nearby.
Amidst the graduates attending reunion were doctors practicing in New Orleans without a hospital since Hurricane Katrina, doctors who were poets, doctors who were practicing at age 60, 70 and 80 without being induced to leave their patients by such trivial pursuits as golf or tennis.
Dr. Nieca Goldberg had written a best seller entitled Women Are Not Small Men; Dr. Florence Kavaler cited the paucity of women in her class of ’59, while many of the children of honorees who were present gave the ultimate testament to the power of their parents’ work by following the medical career path. Honoree Dr. William Solomon cited his late father’s influence on his career and that of his brother in pursuing medicine; Dr. Emanuel Stein and Dr. Herman Rosen who worked at adjacent tables in Gross Anatomy and studied together throughout medical school, shared personal joys and losses throughout the years. Dr. Arthur Wolintz, Chief of Ophthalmology at DMC, chaired the awards committee eloquently.
Reunions are clearly a time to share reflections of the past, to pay tribute to great teachers, to appreciate the alma mater that nurtured and taught, and to look to the future for new frontiers to conquer.#