Posted by Doreen Higgins on Nov 04, 2019
Dr. Richard Roth told us an extraordinary story of a medical and aviation career when he attended our meeting recently. He has practiced medicine in Savannah for many years. He was the program director of the infectious disease training program at Memorial Health University Medical Center and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine with the Mercer University School of Medicine for sixteen years.
His interest in aviation has led him to combine a medical career with an active aviation component. He holds an ATP pilot license, Lear 60 and Gulfstream G550 type ratings and regularly flies his own Beechcraft A38 Bonanza around the Southeast US. He is currently a G550 and G450 instructor at the Flight Safety International Savannah Center. He lectures nationally to the medical and aviation communities regarding matters of mutual concern. He was appointed to be a board member of CAMA (Civil Aviation Medical Association) in 2015. His private practice, Roth Aviation Medical Services, focuses on the evaluation and FAA medical certification of aviators in the Savannah area.

His presentation to us focused on three topics. The first concerned vaccination. He told us of the original discovery of the principle of vaccination, which hinges on the idea of introducing an infection to the human body at a very low level. This provokes the body to produce antibodies to the disease so that subsequent exposure to it does not result in infection. This magical (and simple) discovery may, Dr. Roth said, be the greatest medical discovery of all time, saving humanity from untold misery and death. In connection with misery, he showed us pictures of iron lungs, in which patients with paralysis of the muscles which operate the lungs caused by poliomyelitis, were encased and which breathed for them.

Turning to his second subject, his passion for aviation, Dr. Roth spoke of his own aircraft, of aircraft he has flown and loved, and of his current professional involvement in aviation matters. In his private practice he provides detailed travel consultation to a highly specialized market segment, people who are piloting aircraft to worldwide destinations. Connecting to his medical expertise, he provides vaccination protocols to these international travelers.

Dr. Roth’s third passion is for Polish Sheepdogs and Bearded Collies, and we saw pictures of adorable canines. He and his wife Debra have shown, championed, and rescued these very special animals for more than two decades. We thanked Dr. Roth for his account of a most distinguished and extraordinary career and appreciated his staying to answer a myriad of questions ranging from polio to dog training via jet travel all over the world.
Below is a photo of Dr. Roth and Phil Turek