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A Piece of My Mind
July 15, 2009

Rediscovering My Voice

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2009;302(3):236. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.981

I love to teach. As an infectious disease physician for more than 35 years, I have spent many hours with medical students and physicians, making rounds, discussing patients, and reviewing diagnoses. It has been so gratifying to see new and future physicians learn the art and science of medicine.

When I gave my first lecture 30 years ago, I recall being self-conscious of my Israeli-inflected accent. Would I be able to hold the audience's attention and clearly explain my research? But after delivering scores of lectures, I grew to love the back-and-forth exchange with my colleagues. I became a better physician and researcher by responding to their challenging questions. Most important, I felt like I made a difference in the lives of thousands of patients by discussing my research in ear, sinus, and tonsillar infections. Now, I view lecturing as a critical component of my career, and I try to accept every opportunity I can to share my work.