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September 28, 1994

Memoir of a Surgical Nutritionist

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1994;272(12):963-966. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520120073034

To begin to describe my introduction to medicine, I would like to resurrect some childhood memories. My earliest distinct memory was of being taken at the age of 4 years into my father's medical office, which was in our home, and being weighed. I weighed 44 pounds—a number I can perhaps record as my earliest piece of nutritional research. It certainly was not original, but at least it was quantitative.

When I was 11 years of age, an older sister who was studying chemistry was retained by my father to run urinalyses. I was in the office watching her when she added Fehling's solution to a urine specimen that, when boiled, brought down a heavy precipitate. My father came in, examined the results, and looked extremely grave; I was told this meant the patient had diabetes mellitus and probably would not live 2 years. This was in 1918 before the

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