Don has been my close friend and mentor for 50 years. I first met Don as a nurse in the Mission Emergency Room, San Francisco General Hospital, while pursing my premedical studies. His commitment to patient care and advocacy for the underserved populations in the city was incredible. He is the reason I, and many others, found trauma surgery such a gratifying pathway in our surgical careers.
He has been a phenomenal mentor to scores of young surgeons throughout the world, both with his enthusiasm for and experience in trauma surgery. He has set the gold standard for excellence in trauma care- both the art and the science of trauma care. He is the ultimate educator, always willing to take time to share his expertise with all levels of medical providers, prehospital and hospital.
He has been a relentless patient advocate. He has never been afraid to confront the ethical challenges of delivering the highest quality of trauma care, such as “the issue of “preventable trauma deaths”. His publications on the many challenging areas of trauma surgery are held in high regard by surgeons worldwide.
Don is the “grandfather “of global surgery, taking his surgical expertise to vulnerable populations throughout the world, both through his role in the US Army Medical Corp and as a consultant to numerous international trauma communities. He loved to travel and share stories, both personal and professional, with his many international friends.
All of us will always cherish our times with Don, and the impact he has had on the trauma careers of so many of his friends and colleagues.