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A Piece of My Mind
October 6, 2004

Spectre of Noah

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2004;292(13):1530. doi:10.1001/jama.292.13.1530

Medical students and residents have taught me that to get a point across, bring a story. The story I delivered to open my latest presentation derived from a recent evening with a college classmate. Now a medical school professor and associate dean, he recalled many decades ago the peak moment, the pinnacle, the zenith of my liberal arts career. Mark Van Doren, poet, scholar of literature, and favorite teacher at Columbia, chose my essay, one of a few among several hundred, to read aloud to the class.