Physician's Profile: Living out of the box

December 1, 2008
Lisette Hilton

Lisette Hilton is president of Words Come Alive, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

While competing in a judo master's tournament years ago, Joel E. Holloway, M.D., used a classic move to throw down his opponent so hard that it knocked out the fellow competitor. Dr. Holloway also happened to be the tournament doctor, so instead of returning to his corner, he had to tend to the competition.









Judo champion

Dr. Holloway says that what attracted him to join a judo club in 1961, while he was in the army, was that it was not a team sport.

Being inducted some 48 years later into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Judo Master of the Year marks Dr. Holloway's commitment to judo kata, which focuses on perfection of form and specific moves, including throwing and grappling.

Dr. Holloway has won 38 national medals, including 20 gold medals, at U.S. national judo kata championships. No one in the United States has topped that yet, he says.

In 1994, Dr. Holloway and his judo partner, Ralph Sexton, of Norman, Okla., won the first world overall judo kata championship in Brisbane, Australia.

In 1990, Dr. Holloway was the first kata judo competitor to be inducted into the United States Judo Association Hall of Fame.

Dr. Holloway's seventh-degree black belt also puts him at a level that few in the U.S. have achieved. There are only about 125 seventh-degree black belts in the United States, Dr. Holloway tells Dermatology Times.

Today, Dr. Holloway teaches judo to students of all ages and trains many of the competitors capturing kata medals today.

Drawn to dermatology

An Army medic, Dr. Holloway knew he would pursue a career in healthcare. He first became a registered pharmacist, then he went to medical school.

"Dermatology was the one specialty that I really liked," he says. "There is so much to do - from internal medicine to emergency care and surgery."

The aspect of care that he enjoys most today is cancer surgery, including flaps, complex and cosmetic closures.

His softer side

Dr. Holloway says he authors dictionaries as a hobby, fueled by his interest in nature. He is the author of A Dictionary of Common Wildflowers of Texas and the Southern Great Plains and A Dictionary of Birds in the U.S.

"Nature is one of my hobbies. I do some bird watching, but this is more of a scientific bent. It is taking different species of birds, flowers, etc., and translating the terms.

"The dictionaries are written in English and transliterated from the scientific Greek and Latin (literature); they explain what the terms and common names mean," Dr. Holloway says.

There are more than 900 terms in his bird dictionary, describing the resident birds of the 50 states. He has one other dictionary, Common Flowering Plants of the United States, under consideration for publication by university presses.

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