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Obituaries: Richard E. Dolbec

by BAR staff

Obituaries: Richard E. Dolbec

April 20, 1938 - November 25, 2017

Dr. Richard Dolbec passed away November 25, 2017 in San Francisco, the city he came to love and call his permanent home. He was 79 years old. He is survived by his husband of 21 years, and by his three nephews: Dan, Tom, and Michael Hagan of Chicago.

Dick began his medical career in 1963 with an internship at St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago. He then moved to New York, where he became a board-certified oncologist and worked at Memorial Hospital. He remained in New York for a research fellowship at Sloan Kettering Institute and finished his New York days as a fellow in medicine at Cornell University Medical College.

In 1966, Dick's next move took him to Jackson, Florida with the U.S. Navy, working at USN Hospital for a year before he was sent to Vietnam to serve as an officer in charge of a 20-man medical team. In 1968, after his tour of duty in Vietnam, Dick returned to New York Memorial Hospital. In 1970 he went to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in clinical research at UCB Pharmaceutical Co.

By 1971, Dick had moved to San Francisco. In 1973, he became a member of the California Society of Internal Medicine. He maintained a private practice in San Francisco for years as an internist. Later on he went to work for the San Francisco Department of Public Health at Tom Waddell Clinic, working with the medically underserved population.

Dick began to work one night a week at Mission Neighborhood Health Center, treating HIV-positive patients and later patients co-infected with hepatitis C. Dick worked for 12 years in the HIV clinic at Mission Neighborhood Health Center, Clinica Esperanza.

While he held positions at Tom Waddell and Clinica Esperanza he was an assistant clinical professor at UCSF School of Medicine from 1994 to 2007. He never left Tom Waddell and spent the rest of his professional life there. Throughout his career Dick made lifelong friends. When he finally decided to retire from Tom Waddell, a co-worker wrote a farewell article in a local clinician's newsletter titled, "We've Lost Our Dick."

Dick had a great sense of humor and could be charmingly mischievous. He was a good friend, an accomplished physician, and loving husband. Words cannot convey how much he is already missed. He lived his life well and made the world a better place.

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