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Surgical Reminiscence
July 1998

A Tale of Two Wars

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998

Arch Surg. 1998;133(7):776. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Surg.-ISSN-0004-0010-133-7-srm8001

AS MEDICAL students during the height of the Vietnam War, we were deferred from military service but were by no means insulated from the tumultuous times that our country endured. At the University of California, San Francisco, the faculty and students were a microcosm of the nation's conflicting viewpoints. The Class of 1972 contained a critical mass of activists, many spawned by the radical politics of University of California, Berkeley, their undergraduate institution. Easily distracted from their medical studies by events of the day, they tended to focus more on demonstrations of their political viewpoints than mastery of physiology and pharmacology. A smaller segment of the class was single-minded in its devotion to the study of medicine.

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