Friday, June 10, 2011

Stories from the Clippings

Raymond Hack, MD: An example to us all


Ray Hack earned his way through medical school making newspaper deliveries in a car that cost him $4.50 a week to drive. As a junior at the University of Oregon Medical School, the expenses of driving, tire shortages and gas rationing, Ray began to worry about how he could continue to pay for school. But Ray was not to be deterred. He wanted to become a doctor, and he wanted it bad.

In 1942, times were tough for a med student without a way to meet expenses. Ingenuity was Ray's only option. Determined to be a doctor, Ray built himself a tiny gasoline motor and mounted it on a bicycle and reduced his expenses to 2 cents a day.

Ray searched through second hand stores to find a small front tire that would make room for the motor below the handlebars. The throttle with a flexible cable to the carburetor was operated with his right hand. He used a kick starter to get the thing going and to stop? He slammed on his coaster brake with his right leg and drug his left foot on the ground.

To help his little motor, Ray pedaled up the steepest hills but came down like lightning. "Only thing that bothers me" he said, " is the dogs. They hear my little motor putting along and take after me in a flash."

Ray made it through school, graduating in December of 1943. It seems that he was not heard from again until an announcement came out in the Oregonian from the Brooke Army Medical Center at Ft. Houston, Texas, that Lt. Col. Raymond L. Hack had been made a diplomat of the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and was assigned to duties in Europe. After an internship at Seattle-King County Hospital, he served at Brooke and later at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital. He returned to Brooke in 1948 to become chief of the open psyschiatric section and co-chief of the closed neuropsychiatric section.

And what'd you say about "I can't?" Let's just be a little more ingenious, why don't we.

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