2013-07-18 / Health & Wellness
Late doctor among first to specialize in geriatric medicine
Dr. David H. Solomon, who led a major expansion of the UCLA Department of Medicine, created the campus’ geriatrics program and was the first board-certified endocrinologist in Los Angeles, died July 9 at his home in Thousand Oaks. He was 90.
Solomon received awards from various medical societies and was the author of 220 scientific papers in journals, four books, 49 book chapters and 32 editorials and popular articles.
Solomon was born March 7, 1923, and raised in Brookline, Mass. He graduated from Brown University in 1944 and entered Harvard Medical School that year. He completed medical school in two years, graduating magna cum laude in 1946.
After graduation, Solomon married Ronda Markson.
Solomon was recruited to the new UCLA School of Medicine in 1952. He led the development of the school’s endocrinology division.
In 1966, he was named chief of medicine at Harbor General Hospital, where he expanded UCLA’s training program. He returned to UCLA’s main campus in 1971 as executive chair of the department of medicine, holding that position until 1981.
In 1979, Solomon recognized the need for a new medical specialty to deal with the elderly. The specialty of geriatric medicine was not widely recognized as a legitimate field of medicine.
He spent the year on sabbatical at the RAND Corp. and, along with Dr. John Beck, studied the problem of an insufficient number of trained geriatricians in the United States.
The result was the book “Geriatrics in the United States: Manpower Projections and Training Considerations.”
Solomon stepped down as chair of the department of medicine in 1981 and began his second career in gerontology. He recruited Beck to UCLA to lead the Multicampus Programs in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. Solomon served as associate director of the MPGMG from 1981 to 1989.
From 1991 to 1996, he developed the UCLA Center on Aging, now known as the UCLA Longevity Center. He retired as the center’s director in 1996.
Solomon also served as editorin chief of the Journal of American Geriatrics Society from 1988 to 1993 and was a member of the board of directors of the American Geriatrics Society for eight years.
In addition to his wife, Ronnie, Solomon is survived by daughters Patti (Mrs. Richard Sinaiko) and Nancy Solomon; grandsons Jeffrey and Gregory Sinaiko; daughterin law Marcie Sinaiko; and greatgranddaughters Shayna, Samantha and Jamie Sinaiko.