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A Piece of My Mind
October 1, 2008

The Physician in Winter

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2008;300(13):1497. doi:10.1001/jama.300.13.1497

I am an old (almost 90) retired general internist. I have had a good life and a good time in the practice of medicine. What do I have left over from my days as a physician? An old stethoscope, a subscription to the JAMA, and a host of good memories.

I spent most of my medical years as a solo practitioner (translate: dinosaur) in my home town. My father, a physician, and my mother, a teacher, lived to 103 and 98 years, respectively. So I have naturally assumed that, what with all of the amazing developments in medicine—well, I assumed that I would live even longer.