Matthew A Brown
What do I remember most about Dr. Hillis? (I know he frequently wanted to be called "Bill," but the respect I hold for him means he'll always be "Dr. Hillis")
There are a lot of things that still make me smile (you've got a bad case of whomp disease! Oh my, that's a hashish shop! The kidneys are more important than the brain, that's why God gave you two of them!) But most of all, it was The Medusa and the Snail.
Over fifteen years ago, I had the privilege of being a student in several of his courses, ranging from freshman pathology and immunology lectures, to studying abroad with him in Maastricht (where I also got to know his graceful and brilliant-in-her-own-right wife, Argye).
At the end of one of the courses, he hosted the students for dinner, and read us a passage from Lewis Thomas' book The Medusa and the Snail. As he did so, you could see the passion that he held for medicine and science, and the beauty and wonder that can be found in those disciplines.
This passion was evident in all of my interactions with him. He was a phenomenal teacher, humorous and soft spoken and kind, humble before God and fiercely proud of his children, and truly inspirational to everyone around him.
He is one of the main reasons that I, like countless other students, became a physician, and I hope that I live up to his example.
His passing is a tremendous loss for the Baylor family and the hundreds, if not thousands, of students he inspired and mentored over the years.
Tuesday May 1, 2018 at 4:04 pm