Dave Howarth’s Speech
Empathy and compassion, a thirst for knowledge, an ability to listen and to communicate.
These are the qualities of a good clinician. Mat wasn’t just a good clinician. Mat cared, he cared with a passion and an enthusiasm, which as a Dr set him apart. He would never compromise his own high professional standards, or values as a person and had intuitive insight into right and wrong. He had a maturity beyond his years. He was his patient’s advocate and invariably did the right thing. He’d instinctively put the patient at ease, then discipline himself to understand each patient’s problems fully, before seeing the next. His work was structured, personable and non judgmental. He’d work hard and always performed his duties to the best of his ability. These were the high standards others aspired to. His practice was touched by a unique blend of professionalism and personality. His patients responded to this gift and maturity, with gratitude and respect. The comments in the book of condolences in our waiting room reflects this. He thrived on clinical experience, and was always ready to share knowledge to help others. He sometimes worried about cases simply because he cared.
Some time ago, Mat asked me what qualities I wanted in a partner. Honesty and a good clinician was my reply. We were fortunate enough for Mat to want to work with us at Denton Turret and we feel privileged to have worked with not only an honest clinician, but also a lively, humorous, kind and considerate man. He understood the value of a team and played the role naturally, always considering others and treating all as equals.
He brought his passion for gismos and toys to work and embarrassed his colleagues with slick presentations. He was a breath of fresh air, changed our aspirations and stimulated us to reflect on our own practice.
He had business acumen too, characterized by unbridled imagination, grand schemes and a youthful impulsiveness that seemed cruel to temper with reality. I enjoyed been a foil for this imagination and energy.
A lasting memory of Mat was his smile and the smile he would bring to others. Despite our overwhelming grief, thoughts of Mat, the extraordinary and silly things he did, can’t prevent a smile from coming to our faces.
Having talked to many of Mats ex colleagues here today, I know my experience is typical of others. I know all of you will have personal tributes to the celebration of his life. Mat knew the value of life, spent his life preserving it and helping others through.
This is the passionate man I knew. I feel humbled to be able to recognize a gifted physician and to mourn the loss of a friend.