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A Piece of My Mind
September 12, 2007

On Knowledge

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2007;298(10):1137. doi:10.1001/jama.298.10.1137

As far back as I can remember, the acquisition of knowledge has been a prized commodity in my family. My father never finished high school: in 1932, the loss of his own father required that my dad—then 14 years old, the oldest of 5 children, and not yet having completed the seventh grade—take on the role of breadwinner. My mom was the “educated one” in the family, since she had completed the 7th grade, shortly after which difficult economic situations in her own family required her assistance in the family boarding house, relegating school to the category of “less necessary.”