Donald W. Brown, M.D.
Volunteer Primary Care Physician, Capital Health Center, 1500 C Street in Sacramento. This is part of
the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (SSVMS) project "SPIRIT."
Philip Palmer, M.D.
In September 2004, Dr. Philip Palmer, Emeritus Professor of Radiology/ Diagnostic Imaging at UC Davis
and UC Davis Medical Center, was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine, Honoris Causa, by the School
of Medicine and Pharmacy at the university in the ancient (13th century) city of Tirgu Mures, Romania.
Dr. Philip Palmer, Emeritus Professor of Radiology/ Diagnostic Imaging at UC Davis and UC Davis Medical
Center, was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine, Honoris Causa, by the School of Medicine and
Pharmacy at the university in the ancient (13th century) city of Tirgu Mures, Romania.
The degree was conferred by the rector (chancellor) of the university, supported by the deans of four
of the colleges. The ceremony, during which Dr. Palmer was capped and gowned, took place in the National
Theatre before 300-400 physicians and guests at the official opening of the Congress of the Romanian Society
of Radiology and Medical Imaging. Dr. Palmer had been made a member of the Society in 1990 when he visited
Romania on behalf of the European Office of the World Health Organization, responding to the request of
the Romanian Minister of Health for advice very soon after the revolution which ended the communist regime.
The 46-page report he wrote in 1990 and his advice during a follow-up visit in 1992 became the official
guide for the complete revision and modernization of medical imaging, radiotherapy, and radiological education
at all levels throughout Romania; this year, Dr. Palmer and his wife, Miep, were invited to return as
guests of the Society so they could see the great progress which has been made. During visits to the university
hospital and other clinics in Bucharest, Dr. Palmer was immensely impressed by the complete change, not
only in equipment, which is steadily becoming more and more up-to-date but, of equal importance, in the
outlook and standard of patient care now being set by all the hospital staff.
Equally impressive is the progress of radiological education, again based on the Palmer Report. The departmental
clinical meetings (held in English as a courtesy to Dr. Palmer) at the university hospital and the presentations
during the Congress were of high standard and the enthusiasm for learning and debate was very evident.
Very impressive was the final session at the congress in Tirgu Mures, during which groups of residents
(trainees) from all the specialist training programs in Romania presented research and case reports, doing
so in English and using PowerPoint for data, graphs and images on the wide screen.
The changes are not only in health care: in 1990 there were empty shops, lines of very hungry people
trying to find bread and any other food, empty streets and dilapidated buildings, now the cities and villages
are thriving, shops of all sorts are open and busy, new housing and developments are everywhere. There
are rush-hour traffic jams, a sure sign of prosperity! Music and the arts, severely restricted under the
old regime, are flourishing.
There is, no doubt, a lot more to do and many problems to solve, but there is every probability that
progress will continue. What has been done so far is remarkable.