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Citation: Albert Solomon

- By Wits University

Prof Solomon qualified with a MBBCh in 1948, Diploma in Internal Medicine in 1962, Diploma in Medical Radiodiagnosis 1964, Master of Medicine in Diagnostic Radiology 1969 and in 2001 became a Fellow of the College of Radiologists.

Professor Solomon has had a distinguished career in radiology. In 1964, he was appointed as a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, and consultant Radiologist to the Johannesburg General Hospital and. A year later in 1965, he was appointed Senior Consultant Radiologist at Baragwanath Hospital (now Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital), and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Radiology attached to the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1970 he became Head of the Department of Radiology at Baragwanath Hospital (graded as a Principal Radiologist). In 1971 he was appointed to Chief Radiologist at Baragwanath Hospital and Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1974 he was appointed to Chair of Radiology, attached to Baragwanath Hospital and the University of the Witwatersrand. The S.A. Medical Post (February 1975) reported that his major radiological research interest and work in the field of industrial lung disease, with special reference to the effects of asbestos inhalation, had attracted considerable interest overseas. During his thirteen years at Baragwanath Hospital he published, together with many colleagues, nearly two thirds of his published papers. From 1979 to 1992, he practiced as a specialist radiologist in Israel. In 1993 he returned to South Africa and took over the academic activity at all teaching hospitals, during which time he was also the acting Academic Head of the Department of Radiology at the University and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee at Hillbrow Hospital.

He delivered his inaugural lecture in 1977 under the title ‘Industrial shadows’. There was extensive press coverage of the lecture. Headlines included ‘The Hazards of Asbestos’, ‘SA workers run an extra risk’. ‘Adequate health care without a labour register impossible - Professor’ and ‘Migrant workers a health problem’. His early interest in occupational diseases made a large contribution to the continuing radiological education of staff at the National Institute for Occupational Health for nearly twenty years.

Professor Solomon has taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of the Witwatersrand for more than twenty five years. His contribution to research has been immense.  He has published over 100 papers in scientific journals, of which twenty papers focused on the radiological appearances on the chest x-rays of asbestos exposed individuals, seven of which deal primarily with the involvement of the visceral pleura. Other fields in which he has made significant contributions are the appearances associated with mesothelioma and asbestosis, and the use of computerised tomography in suspected asbestos-related diseases. Professor Solomon has also published fifteen case reports, written and co-authored eight chapters in books, and presented thirty-five papers at scientific conferences. He edited (with Louis Kreel) a book on the ‘Radiology of Occupational Diseases’ in 1989.

Professor Solomon’s significant contributions are evidenced in his involvement in academia and in the development of a top class radiological facility in the largest hospital for black patients in South Africa during the apartheid era. He is also considered to be the prime mover in the study of the radiology of asbestos-related disease in South Africa.

In recognition of his unique skills, his involvement at various levels in the Faculty of Health Sciences and the University, and for his many professional contributions, the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg would like to confer the award of an Honorary Doctorate on Emeritus Professor Albert Solomon.