Professor Mario Tolentino Dipp 1928-2012

dippUnquestionably, the father of Dominican neurology.

Honest, studious in the extreme, a teacher by vocation, untiring worker, dedicated to his patients and his pupils. He gave of himself everything that can be expected from a great teacher and a great man.

Professor Tolentino died Sept. 27, 2012, from an aggressive cancer of the pancreas, which only allowed him three months of life following diagnosis. Until then, he was active both academically and in patient care.

He became a Doctor of Medicine at University of Santo Domingo in 1953 and studied neurology and psychiatry at the University of Paris from 1953 to 1957. He trained at the birthplace of world neurology — the Salpetriere Hospital — under the direction of Professors Theophile Alajouanine, Paul Castaigne, Jean Nick and Jean Lhermitte. In St. Anne hospital, he had Professors Jean Delay, Pierre Pichot, Pierre Deniker and Therese Lemeriere. At the Foch Hospital, he had as a guide Gerard Guiot.

From October 1953 to February 1957, he attended conferences by Professors Raymond Garcin, Henry Ey and Jacques Lacan. In February 1957, he obtained a state diploma in neurology, psychiatry given by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Paris.

At the end of 1957, he was appointed as a neurologist at the Hospital Salvador B. Gautier of the Dominican Institute of Social Security and became the chief, a job that was made official in 1962.

In 1962, he was made assistant professor of neurology at the University of Santo Domingo. In the same year, he was named professor in the School of Nursing. In 1963, he was appointed neurologist at the Center of Neurorehabilitation in Santo Domingo.

He was an active individual and was involved in medical societies and the creation of working groups for the advancement of professionals in the area of neurology. In 1963, he was a member of the Technical Council and the Council of the Teaching of the Hospital Salvador B. Gautier. That same year, he was made a member of honor for the Dominican Society of Paediatrics. He then again became a member of the Council of Teaching of Hospital Salvador B. Gautier in 1965.

In 1966, Tolentino was named Professor of Neurology at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.

From 1967 to 1969, he was member of the Commission of Reform of Medical Studies the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. In 1968, he was a member of the National Council of the Medical Council of the Medical Association of the Dominican Republic. He was a founding member of the Dominican Society of Neurology and Neurosurgery in 1968 of which he served as president twice. In 1987, he was elected member of the section of Tropical Pathology of the World Federation of Neurology. In 1992, he also became member of the section of epidemiology of the WFN.

His francophone spirit led him in 1981 to become member of Honor of the French Society of Neurology, and in 1982, president of the French Society of Neurology and in 1992, president of the French Alliance of Santo Domingo.

In 1986, he became a Knight of the Order of National Merit of the French Republic, and in 2006, he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic. In 1993, he received the title of Knight of the Order of the National Merit of Duarte Sanchez and Mella of the Dominican Republic.

In 1988, he was made an associate member of the AAN, and in 2009, he became a member of honor of the AAN. In 2006, he became the regional director for Latin America for the WFN. In 1984, he was named “Doctor of the Highest Merit” of the Medical Society of the Dominican Institute of Social Security. In 1987, he was named a Master of Dominican Medicine by the College of Physicians of the Dominican Republic. In the same year, he was made honorary president of the XII Pan American Congress of Neurology held in Santo Domingo in 2008.

In 1982, he organized a residency program in neurology, at the Hospital Salvador B. Gautier, which remains unique and has trained 57 neurologists who have taken neurology to all corners of the Dominican Republic.

There are many more honors that will go unmentioned because of lack of space. The Dominican Congress declared by Law 180-09 that the Hospital of Specialties of the City of Health will henceforth carry the name of Dr. Mario Tolentino Dipp. This hospital was built recently in the Dominican Republic.

There is no doubt that the absence of Dr. Tolentino, not only from the Dominican Republic, but from Latin America, represents a loss of a great man and a teacher of neurology. The whole world of neurosciences has been affected.