Longing to Belong

Nor cast one longing lingering look behind Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard by Richard Ratzan, M.D. Abstract: On the eve of retirement after 45 years as a physician, the author reflects on a lifelong inclusion in medicine, from early childhood days as the son of a medical couple to a career in emergency medicine. He anticipates with dread the day when he will no longer belong in the ranks of those who are unquestionably healers. Keywords: retirement, profession, collegiality, nostalgia, autobiography, clinical medicine, emergency medicine Two years ago I walked out of my emergency department ending 43 years as an employed academic physician. Although I realized at the … Continue reading

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ODEAR: Most-Favored Specialties

Hi, Dr. Elpern, I am contacting you in hopes that you may be able to assist me in attaining my goal of gaining acceptance to a Dermatology residency, and also to see if you had any advice on how to shine during my dermatology rotations, or any contacts at my away school who may assist me in research opportunities such as case reports/letters. I receive emails like this with regularity.  In the 1960s when I was in medical school, dermatologists were at, or near, the bottom of the physician feeding chain.  Internists, with their haughty demeanors, were the self-proclaimed real brains of medicine and lorded it over most other practitioners.  Radiologists … Continue reading

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