A Piece of My Mind
July 11, 2007

On Retirement

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(2):147-148. doi:10.1001/jama.298.2.147

Midnight, June 30, 1990, was the last moment of my so-called working life. Nineteen days short of my 68th birthday, it was not suffused with pleasure. I had been a pediatrician in a variety of private practice and academic roles. In particular, I had been marvelously enriched by the care of patients and the constant opportunity to aid in nurturing the young in my profession. Pediatrics was my vocation and my avocation.

My residency experience at the Harriet Lane Home in Baltimore had left me uncertain. My year as chief resident did not offer the epiphany for a next career step, a fellowship or private practice. I confessed my uncertainty to the department chief, whose response was brief: “If you even think about practice, you don't belong here.” I went into practice.

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