The impact he’s left on lives across Gainesville is as omnipresent as the colors orange and blue. M. Franklin Dolwick, D.M.D., Ph.D., has spent the last 35 years treating dental patients and instructing students and residents as the chair of the UF College of Dentistry’s department of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Dolwick’s storied career was recognized during the 2019 Celebrating Distinction ceremony, held Oct. 22 in the DeWeese Auditorium of the McKnight Brain Institute of UF, where Dolwick was named the Academy One Hundred Eminent Scholar.
“Dr. Dolwick’s expertise and dedication as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, teacher, researcher and leader has created a lasting legacy of healing and excellence and has made a difference for patients, oral surgery residents, dental students and colleagues,” said UF College of Dentistry Dean A. Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor than Frank Dolwick.”
Dolwick said his life’s calling feels more like a passion than work.
“I truly love what I do. I’m one of those people who feel like they’ve never worked a day in their lives. I enjoy improving quality of life for my patients and taking away their pain,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed teaching my nearly 4,000 dental students my personal philosophy on compassionate care: doing what’s best for the patient will always be the right thing to do.”
(Above photo from right: Dean Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H., and M. Franklin Dolwick, D.M.D., Ph.D.)
David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, opened and closed the eighth annual ceremony by expressing his gratitude for the contributions of the 21 UF Health faculty members recognized and their donors alike.
“Of all the events I get to attend, this is probably my favorite. Looking around the room and thinking about the impact that each of you has created in science and health care is a privilege,” Nelson said. “Our benefactors who support what we do every day at UF Health give us a sustainable plan to advance science.”
Of the 21 faculty members recognized, a majority belonged to the UF College of Medicine.
“We have 18 wonderful UF College of Medicine faculty members to recognize today,” said UF College of Medicine interim dean Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., during the ceremony. “That is truly a testament to the important work being done here.”
Patrick J. Tighe, M.D., M.S., received the Donn Dennis, M.D., Professorship in Anesthetic Innovation, which supports research in the UF department of anesthesiology. Tighe, who completed his medical training, residency and fellowship at the UF College of Medicine, said the ceremony held special meaning for him as an alumnus of the college.
“It’s incredibly humbling to be among these recipients and to receive the generosity of the donors,” Tighe said.
(Photo from right: Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., and Patrick J. Tighe, M.D., M.S.)