Friday, November 06, 2009

The two habits of highly successful physicians (or dentists)

Upon opening a preservation folder stuffed with loose issues of The Proceedings of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (about which more some other time, perhaps, if it all pans out), my eye fell upon:
There are many stories of Dr. Black's marksmanship with the rifle.
This was made possible by the fact that the loose issue on the top of the stack which I removed from the folder is missing its first two leaves, hence dropping the unwary unwrapper directly into the "Personal Recollections of Greene Vardiman Black," a biography of the great American dentist.

On Tuesday, I happened to be involved in correspondence between two prominent local doctors ("cc" is the greatest thing to happen to mail in a long time), one of whom asked the other:
shot any ducks lately?
Last week, I was reading up on the second dean of the University of Oregon Medical School, prominent surgeon, physician, and educator Kenneth A.J. Mackenzie, MD, and was treated to paragraph after paragraph about his prowess as a hunter.

Conversely, I responded to queries today about both alumnus Donald Neilson, MD (noted cultivator of orchids) and Portland physician Robert Thornfeldt, MD (developer of a prize-winning rose) and recalled the horticultural prowess of fourth UOMS dean David W.E. Baird, MD--about which I have read paragraph after paragraph.

Do we detect a pattern here? Life and death: not just a job, but a hobby too! I blame Oregon, its climate and unspoiled wilderness.

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