Healthcare address from Dec. 2, 1971

James  Holly, M.D.

April 19, 2016, Dr. Michael Oszczakiewicz asked if due to his surgery schedule, I could fill in for him and speak to the Lamar University Pre-Med Club, similar to the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). I agreed. It was great fun.

I talked to the pre-med students about my participation in the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) while I was a medical student; the next day, I included in the meeting summary a link to the OSR’s section on the AAMC’s website.

To my surprise I found the text of an address that I gave to the first meeting of the OSR on Dec. 2, 1971. The content of that address, while brief, is totally consistent with the past 45 years of my medical practice. That was not a surprise but very affirming. The files posted on SETMA’s website state in part:

“But what of our medicine, that is, the delivery of daily health care to John Doe, Susie Smith and Clarence Jones? In the middle of a crisis, if in the right place, or if financially able, they will receive excellent medical care. However, if in the wrong place, or if financially unable, they may in fact receive no care at all. In addition, the facilities for non-crisis or preventive medicine are almost exclusively restricted to infectious disease and even those are inadequate. In short, we have a description of the remaining half of our irony, ‘Bad Medicine.’”

In the file, following this address, there are three addenda related to the OSR. Beginning with page three of the file, there is an addendum, written April 20 2016, 45 years later than the speech, that documents the steps of my being elected chairman of the OSR in 1970.

Beginning on page five, there is an addendum with materials related to the dedication of the Holly Auditorium on Feb. 21, 2012. This contains information relevant to number one.

And beginning on page nine, there is an addendum with materials related to my being the Distinguished Alumnus Award winner in October 2012.

Second, there is a summary of the Lamar AMSA Chapter meeting referred to above, titles Lamar AMSA Chapter Meeting, April 19, 2016

Third, there is my December 1971 report as chairman of the OSR to the Chairman of the Council of Deans. OSR Chairman Report to Council of Deans 1971.

All this and more is available at www.setma.com/letters.

This is a walk down memory lane for me. Its significance is that it shows the roots of the guiding principles of SETMA. It was fun to discover an address that is 45 years old but is still relevant as it shows the consistency between what I learned in Medical School and my experiences there and how I practiced for the past 43 years.

The following files are also on SETMA’s website:

• Bill Henrich’s Response to Dr. Holly’s Address to AAMC’s OSR 1970

• Lamar AMSA Chapter Meeting, April 19, 2016

• OSR Address, December 2, 1971, Addenda Election, Auditorium, Distinguished Alumnus

• OSR Chairman Report to Council of Deans 1971.

April 22, 2016, Dr. William Henrich, president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, made the following response to the Dec. 2, 1971 address:

“I read the attachment (OSR Address December 2, 1971, Addenda Election, Auditorium, Distinguished Alumnus) and enjoyed every word. It is clear your compass has been set on truth from the start, and that, in the end, it is the wisest path to follow. I admire the courage it took to stand up for Dr. Pannill to the chancellor, and I appreciated hearing how meaningful your defense of him was to him.

“Your devotion to our School of Medicine and to the highest standards of professionalism began early in your career, and continues today. The approach you have informs the actions you have taken with your practice. SETMA reflects your values, your tireless efforts to avoid ‘bad medicine.’

“Your example is meaningful to everyone touched by your approach: your patients, their families, your partners, your family and your alma mater. I count myself among most fortunate to have had our paths cross. You are an inspiration to me and to us.”

The addendum addresses the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award. This audio and text of my address upon receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award is online at www.setma.com/Presentations. The following is an extract:

“On November 22, 1968, 48 years ago, I received my letter of acceptance to the 1969 class at UTMSSA. It is signed by my professional mentor, Dr. F. C. Pannill. My wife framed it and I brought it with me tonight. On October 9, 2012, I wrote Dr. William Henrich, the President of the Health Science Center and said:

“‘As Carolyn and I prepare to go to San Antonio this weekend to receive the honor I most desired in this life – to be a Distinguished Alumnus of my beloved School of Medicine – I wish to tell you and Mary that if I had a choice of knowing you and being your friend, or receiving this award, I would choose to be your friend. You have afforded me opportunities I never imaged would be possible, and I am grateful. You have extended your warm embrace to me and to my family beyond anything I could have imagined and I am grateful.

“‘As Carolyn and I continue to hope and to believe for your full and complete recovery, we want you to know the esteem in which we hold you and the love which we have for both of you. God bless you.’”

In August 2012, I attended Dr. Pannill’s memorial service; on Oct. 10, 2012, I wrote his children and grandchildren, saying:

“Today, I am preparing to leave tomorrow for San Antonio. On Saturday night, I shall receive the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award. I shall carry with me to this event, the framed copy of my letter of acceptance to the 1969 entering class, signed by ‘MY’ Dean, Dr. Carter Pannill. My greatest regret is that your father and grandfather will not be there. In my professional career, no person has influenced me more than Dr. Pannill — I could no more call him Carter than I could stop breathing. He shall always be the epitome of professionalism, leadership, scholarship and the kind of physician I have always wanted to be.

“You know these things but as I stand before the convocation on Saturday evening, I want to know that I have laid this honor at his feet and expressed my gratitude that I knew and loved him and that he respected me. No honor could be more valued by me. I am pleased for you to know that in my judgment, Dr. Henrich and your father are men of the same caliber and cut from the same cloth. I think your father would like that.

“Tonight, I remember that I have always been proud of my school of medicine and that I have often wondered if my school of medicine could and would be proud of me.”

Next week, we will continue with the story of the 1971 address and the follow up to the Lamar student meeting.

 

Dr. James L. Holly is CEO of Southeast Texas Medical Associates, LLP (SETMA) in Beaumont.

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