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April 18, 1990

M. Therese Southgate, MD— the woman behind 'The Cover'

JAMA. 1990;263(15):2107-2112. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440150119038

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The day varies, but for this week it is Friday, the target day, the day she wishes "would go away." It is The Day To Write.

Marie Therese Southgate, MD, has written more than 200 superbly crafted essays describing the famous works of art that serve each week as the cover of JAMA, but it never comes easy.

The day before writing, she is usually "a bit short" with people; on the target day, there will be no interruptions.

She has no need for an alarm clock. The light streaming through the windows of her 57th-floor condo at Chicago's Marina City Towers will awaken her around 5:30. She is a morning person and intends to be at her writing desk "by 7, 7:15 at the latest."

After a quick breakfast, she will sit and reflect for a few minutes. The view from her living room looks out at nearby Michigan