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They would never have fit in the room, but the thousands of people around the world who owe their good health to Dr. Morris Sherman were well represented at his farewell celebration.
The famed liver doctor was the guest of honour at the inaugural Toronto Liver Cancer Symposium, which brought together some of the world's leading experts in the field to pay tribute to the giant in their midst.
"His impact in the field of liver cancer is truly phenomenal," says Dr. Harry Janssen, Director of the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease and the Francis Family Liver Clinic.
"He performed crucial studies to advance key understandings of this disease, and he took complicated scientific concepts and translated them into clear language for doctors and patients."
Colleagues from Europe, the United States and Canada gathered to share stories and illuminate the importance not only of his work but of his unique personal attributes. They remarked often on his effectiveness, his kindness and his keen ability to persuade others to his point of view.
"He has been a trusted and respected colleague, teacher and most importantly, compassionate physician," says Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President and CEO.
In his 36 years at UHN, Dr. Sherman has treated thousands of patients with liver cancer in addition to his research that continues to influence treatment recommendations around the world.
Dr. Sherman was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and the CASL Gold Medal Award in 2016. A founding member and past president of the International Liver Cancer Association, he is currently the chairman of the Canadian Liver Foundation.
"I've had a good, fulfilling career," says Dr. Sherman. "I'm pleased to know that I've contributed to at least a part of humanity, in the form of improving the welfare of my patients."
In honour of his life's work, The Morris Sherman Global Impact Award in Liver Cancer was created. It will be given out annually to the leading opinion leader in this field.
By any measure Dr. Morris Sherman has left his little corner of the world, better than he found it.