More than 400 friends and colleagues have joined the Botticelli family and University Health Alliance (UHA), in funding an endowment at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) to memorialize the legacy and impact of academic medicine pioneer, Dr. Max G. Botticelli.
In a ceremony at the medical school in October 2012, Dr. Jerris Hedges, JABSOM Dean, described Dr. Botticelli as “one of the ‘giants’ in the medical school’s history”.
Early proponent of PBL
“He was a masterful clinician-educator who contributed significantly to the professional development of our medical students and residents during the formative years of the school,” said Dr. Hedges. “Dr. Botticelli was also an early proponent of using problem-based learning (PBL) to train our future physicians. He believed strongly in the potential of medical students and residents to be active participants in their learning experiences. Through this endowment, his impact will continue to grow.”
Part of the ceremony included a demonstration of a problem-based learning session involving MD students Kyla Teramoto, Jennifer Gima, Sean Matsuwaka, Marissa Isaki and Dara Azuma, led by Dr. Damon Sakai, Director of JABSOM Medical Education.
Inspiring continuing curriculum innovation
The new endowed fund will provide JABSOM with resources to further develop its innovative curriculum and support the ongoing training and development of PBL teachers. It will enable the medical school to develop, test, and evaluate new curriculum concepts and integrate them across the spectrum of medical education approaches used at JABSOM, such as simulation, clinical skills, and online training.
“Through the generosity of the many donors contributing to this fund in Dr. Botticelli’s honor, our medical school will be able to continually encourage and support innovation in teaching and medical education, with the ultimate goal of helping to shape and develop outstanding physicians,” said Dr. Richard Kasuya, Associate Dean for Medical Education, and a former trainee and faculty member under Dr. Botticelli. “We believe that this is a wonderful opportunity to continue to grow and evolve our curriculum in ways that Dr. B would be proud of.”
Dr. Botticelli’s daughter Ann Botticelli noted, “This fund, which is dedicated to providing our community with highly trained physicians, is a great legacy. Our family is so grateful to all who contributed, and especially to UHA whose significant contribution allowed this fund to become a perpetual endowment.”
“The ultimate primary care physician”
“I believe that Dr. Botticelli is here with us in spirit today,” said Dr. Erlaine Bello, JABSOM Internal Medicine Residency Program Director and alumna of the MD Class of 1981. She said she could picture Dr. Botticelli in the room “with an Italian opera playing in the background, wearing one of his sweaters and his glasses down at the tip of his nose looking down at us.”
She said Dr. Botticelli shaped many students, residents and faculty colleagues. “As a doctor I think he was the ultimate primary care physician, completely focused on the patient, who he felt was more than a sum of their diseases. He way ahead of his time as an early adapter of evidence-based medicine and quality improvement projects,” said Dr. Bello.
Max Botticelli was born on Dec. 10, 1931 in Fenton, Michigan, the youngest of five children born to Joe and Agnes Botticelli. He graduated from Fenton High School in 1949 and attended Michigan State University. He transferred after his junior year to Wayne State University College of Medicine and earned his M.D. in 1956. An internship at The Queen’s Medical Center brought him to Honolulu, where he met a young nurse named Alice Miyoko Watanabe. They married in 1957 and had four children: Marc, Ann, Paul and Lisa.
Botticelli completed one year of general practice residency at Monterey County Hospital in Salinas, CA. and then completed a Fellowship in Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He served for two years in the U.S. Army Medical Corp. in Ft. Polk, LA., then returned to Honolulu in 1963 and spent 22 years in private practice.
From 1986-1995 he was a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Hawai`i John A. Burns School of Medicine. He served at that time as the director of the Queen Emma Clinic. In 1996 he embarked on his third career, as CEO of UHA. This was formerly the medical school’s Faculty Practice Plan.
How you can give, too
Our main photograph includes Botticelli family members Marc, Max, Ann and Alice, Dean Jerris Hedges, Dr. J. Kuhio Asam, (JABSOM Alumnus and UHF Board Chair) and Howard Lee, President of UHA.
The UH Foundation contributed to this report.