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December 11, 1987

Class Reunion

Author Affiliations

Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe, NM

JAMA. 1987;258(22):3303-3304. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400220103048

September 1933. About 140 stalwarts, mostly men and a few women, arrive at the School of Medicine. They are the cream of Ivy League and New York City colleges: arrogant, self-involved, their average age about 21. Turn left or right and see Phi Beta Kappa keys dangling. (I pocket mine.) I am scared. We are in an old amphitheater listening to an introductory talk by the dean, a tall, impressive, eloquent speaker. Under his jacket the earpieces of a stethoscope are clinging to the left shoulder of his vest and the terminal diaphragm is in its lower right pocket, like a watch.

June 9, 1937. Graduation. An ill-defined comfort of togetherness had been formed. One hundred twenty-four serious, subdued, but secure young folk now stalked out to diagnose and conquer disease. They separated for further training, thinking that they were at the cutting edge in medical science, without penicillin. They