Michael W. Hill Memorial Student Award
Michael William Hill became interested in medicine at a young age. As a child, he was struck in the eye with a toy rocket. The resulting arduous six-week hospitalization at the University of Iowa taught him the humility of being a patient and was a memorable first encounter with the field of medicine. The exceptional care he received that saved his eyesight instilled in him a desire to practice medicine and to improve the lives of other people. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1945, Michael attended the University of Iowa where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and completed a Doctor of Medicine in 1971. After an internship at Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, he completed his residency in Head and Neck and Facial Plastic Surgery in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Otolaryngology at Stanford University in 1977. He completed a sabbatical in Obstructive Sleep Apnea, publishing one of the first chapters describing the disease. He practiced head and neck surgery at the Wolfe Clinic in Marshalltown and at his offices in Des Moines, Iowa, for 33 years. He created Tomorrow’s Health and Midwest Aesthetics providing comprehensive facial plastic surgical services and healthy lifestyle management in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Michael was a true Renaissance man. Not only was he a skilled surgeon, who cared for patients throughout Iowa and the nation, he was a gifted oil painter, woodworker, stained glass artist, creative inventor with several patents, entrepreneur, legendary joke and storyteller, and a dreamer. He was an invaluable asset to his community where he was constantly recognized and greeted by people, “Hey Doc!” He touched and saved many lives through his surgical practice, serving call duty at the Marshalltown Surgical Center for head and neck trauma for more than 30 years. He treated everyone he met as a friend with a sincere smile, and he never turned down a patient regardless of their financial situation, often trading goods (like firewood) and services for his medical care. He was a great father and mentor to his four children: Micah, Jason, Charles, and Esther and a thoughtful and loving husband for 38 years to his wife, Jinx.
The funds for this scholarship were provided by the many family members and friends of Mike’s to remember him by honoring you. It was not so long ago that he was sitting where you are now. I know he would, along with all of us, wish you life’s best and great joy serving others in your medical career.
Congratulations on receiving the Michael W. Hill Memorial Student Award