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On-line version ISSN 1806-907X
Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. vol.58 no.6 Campinas Nov./Dec. 2008
Dr. Valdir Cavalcanti
* 11 de dezembro de 1927
15 de agosto de 2008
"Absence is a lack always present"
There are some missions in life we consider almost impossible, but special circumstances make us to turn them into challenges. The loss of a friend, dare I say a brother, opens a void inside us, the ideas run amuck, gives us a feeling of being lost, and the thoughts echo in this resonance box, the heart.
Asked by the CREMEB (Medical Council of Bahia) to write about our esteemed colleague, Valdir Medrado, I could not ignore this honorable task, which is almost a duty.
He was a notable scientist and human being, and this observation is supported by the testimony of a friendship that covers more than six decades, since the day we crossed the entrance of the beloved Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia (Medical School of Bahia), in 1951, until his last days of life.
His career was characterized by dedication to work on the daily grind of hospital work and, especially, the activity that always enchanted him: teaching. The continuous search for medical knowledge was the stimulus that conducted him to scientific excellence, leading him to search for the most modern means, starting at the Course on Classic Physiology with Advanced Instrumentation at the Baylor Medical School, in Houston, Texas, USA. Afterwards, he was accepted as an Anesthesiology resident at Duke Hospital of Duke University, in North Carolina, USA, on the 1957-1958 period, where he became Chief Resident due to his leadership.
Upon his return to Brazil, stimulated by his didactic vocation, he developed intense medical activities, and it is mandatory to mention them - even as a summary - to inform those who did not have the privilege to know him.
At UFBA (Federal University of Bahia), he was an anesthesiologist at the Surgery Department, honorary Physiology professor, chief of the Anesthesiology Department where he created the Medical Residency on this subspecialty, and clinical director of the Hospital Universitário Professor Edgar Santos. He was assistant professor of Physiology of the Escola Bahiana de Medicina e Saúde Pública and assistant professor of Physiology of the Universidade Católica de Salvador. He worked at the state health service for thirty-five years as an anesthesiologist at the Maternidade Tsyla Balbino where, despite the precariousness of the installations, he developed a scientific work in his subspecialty. He was vice-president of the Associação Bahiana de Medicina, the president of the Sociedade Brasileira de Anestesiologia, and twice the president of the Sociedade de Anestesiologia da Bahia. He published several studies on the Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia and was part of its Council Board for several years.
His notoriety in the subspecialty he embraced deserved the recognition of the Regional Chapters of the SBA of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais that bestowed him the honorable title of Honorary Member. Several published works and co-authorship of several books were omitted to avoid the sin of prolixity and to hurt his well-known modesty, even postmorten. But Valdir Medrado was not just a consecrated scientist since, as any human being. He lived intensely the other side of life. He was endowed of qualities that framed his existence. His simplicity - a classic characteristic of any valuable human being - captivated those who surrounded him, and it was really curious how such a meritorious scientist conduct his life as a common man who never put himself on a pedestal and worshiped the philosophy of good living.
At the Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Service of the Hospital São Rafael, which he created and where he worked for the last 23 years of his life, I had the privilege of working by his side almost on a daily basis, and he was not really a "chief", but a coordinator of notable professionals, friends who venerated him. I consider this phase as his professional apotheosis.
He lived intensely, filling his days the way he saw fit. His older daughter stated that "he only did what he enjoyed, but ethics and simplicity marked his very own existence."
And his last wish, to be buried at the Iaçu Cemetery, on the outskirts of his beloved farm, where he lived the best moments of his life, was the greatest demonstration of this assertive.
Active Member (Redeemed) SBA/SAEB