Department Honors Retiring “Giants of Medicine”

Added together, their years of service to the University of Hawai’i’s school of medicine are just one year shy of a century.

On August 8, the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s (JABSOM) Department of Medicine honored five faculty members who Dr. Elizabeth Tam, Department Chair, called “giants” of medicine.

“These are giants who are leaving our ranks,” Dr. Tam told those gathered at The Pacific Club to salute Dr. S.Y. Tan, (30 years of service), Dr. Irwin Schatz, (36 years of service), Dr. Bruce Soll, (19 years of service) Dr. Mary Ann Antonelli, (10 years of service), and Dr. Doric Little, (4 years of service).

“It’s been a hell of a ride,” said Schatz, who also served as Chair of Medicine and Director of the Internal Medicine residency program during his tenure. Dr. Schatz made everyone in the room laugh when he explained that these days, though he would love to continue to see patients, “I have no time to see patients, because I’m seeing so many doctors myself, I just don’t have the time.”

Dr. Tan, who as a lawyer and prominent endocrinologist is one of Hawai’i’s founding bioethicists, charmed the gathering by playing several songs on the grand piano before the program began.

He charmed the JABSOM’s Dean, Dr. Jerris Hedges, by saying that as a retiree he would be willing to volunteer in the future, to continue to teach students.

Dr. Schatz and Dr. Tan

Dr. Schatz and Dr. Tan

Dr. Soll, and internist and pulmonologist, was the object of a wickedly funny power point presented by his colleague, immunologist and professor Dr. Joel Brown, featuring some goofy-but-sweet photos from Dr. Soll’s family and friends. Dr. Soll spoke about his love for teaching, and how fortunate he was to be a professor when teaching could be a faculty member’s full focus.

Soll, who thanked his wife, Linda, for her “unfailing love and support” plans to spend a lot of time in a new home the couple has built on Hawai’i Island, a residence that he proudly says is “off the (electric) grid”, with solar energy and other environmentally-friendly features.

Dr. Antonelli, who headed the Office of Student Affairs for five years at JABSOM, is now the Associate Chief of Staff for education for the Veterans Administration Pacific Islands Health Care System.

Dr. Doric Little spoke of her love for students, and the “wonderful opportunity” the school of medicine gave her the past few years to focus particularly on nurturing foreign students who new to Hawai’i, and here to learn or advance their knowledge in medicine. “Thank you to the Dean and to (Vice Dean) Dr. (Satoru) Izutsu”, Little said, for supporting this important outreach to those from Asia and the Pacific region.

The gathering ended with all the participants holding hands to sing “Hawai’i Aloha”, led by Dr. Kalani Brady of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health, who was one of Dr. Schatz’ students a couple of decades ago.

Main photo, L-R, Dr. Soll, Dr. Little, Dr. Antonelli, Dr. Schatz, Dr. Tan. Photo by Helen Victor. Story by Tina Shelton.



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