Dr. Silao passed away September 2, 2017

Samuel A. Silao, MD, LLUSM class of 1987, passed away on September 2, 2017. He was 57 years old.

Dr. Silao was born on September 14, 1959 in the Philippines to Virginia Atiga and the late Narciso Silao. He immigrated to the United States with his family and grew up in Chicago, IL. At the tender age of 12 he started high school at Broadview Adventist Academy, a boarding school in La Fox, IL. It was during these formative years that he became interested in science, writing, poetry and religious matters through the influence of his teachers—Mr. Spaulding, Mr. Saunders and Elder Fitch, to name a few. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, graduating magna cum laude from Loma Linda University – La Sierra Campus. He continued on to Loma Linda University School of Medicine where he was granted his M.D. He was proud of being an alumnus of LLUSM, oftentimes still referring to his alma mater as the “College of Medical Evangelists.” He was a Platinum Perpetual member of its  Alumni Association.

While in medical school, he enjoyed the various services he rotated through and found it difficult to decide which one to specialize in. He chose Family Medicine because of the allure of being able to deliver care through the spectrum of life, from birth to old age. He trained at Riverside General Hospital Family Medicine program from 1987-1990, becoming Chief Resident during his last year of residency.  Throughout his medical education, several professors left a lasting positive impression on him—Dr. Clifton Reeves, Dr. Douglas Hegstad, Dr. Habeeb Bacchus, Dr. Jack Provonsha, Dr. Paul Aoyagi, to name a few. He was Board Certified in Family Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Family Medicine as well.

In 1991, at a time of uncertainty in Medicine, with the rise of Managed Care, he boldly went into private practice, embracing the changes instead of resisting it as many others did. Early on in his profession he was able to experience being a “family doc” in every sense of the term, taking the opportunity to assist in surgeries and deliveries as well. In this age of primary care physicians being relegated to outpatient care, he advocated for those like him who chose to follow their patients in the in the hospital setting for continuity of care, enjoying the clinical challenges of complex cases that came with it. Besides his busy practice, he also took on various leadership roles throughout his career. It was his knowledge of the business side of healthcare that made him an effective Medical Director and board member of several hospitals, physician groups and associations. He was a strong proponent of the controversial Affordable Care Act, believing that healthcare should be available to all, especially the disadvantaged, even if it potentially affected his income. Medicine was his passion. Being a physician was not a job—it was his calling. He truly appreciated the trust his patients placed in him.

Dr. Silao loved God, his family, and his profession. He was a life-long Seventh-day Adventist Christian. It was his unwavering faith in Christ that gave him the strength and courage especially during difficult periods in his life. He was generous because, as he always said, “God is good.” In spite of his busy schedule, he was involved in church (Corona SDA) and his sons’ school (La Sierra Academy) while they were growing up. He enjoyed learning just for the sake of learning, writing poetry, reading, traveling, crossword and Sudoku puzzles, live theatre, fine dining, watching football, Star Trek, old classic movies and historically-based TV shows. He treasured time with his family and friends but also appreciated solitude and especially valued his privacy.

He leaves behind his wife, N. Darlene Alsaybar-Silao, and his two sons, Philip Samuel and Nathan Benjamin. He was loved by his family and friends and respected by his colleagues. He will be greatly missed. He rests in the blessed hope, waiting for Jesus to reunite him with his loved ones someday soon.

His memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2017, 2:30 p.m. at the Corona Seventh-day Adventist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Doctors without Borders (https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/) or Hurricane Harvey relief efforts (suggestion- Adventist Community Services website: http://www.communityservices.org/).

(Source: Family of Dr. Silao)