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May 21, 1982

'Home Is the Sailor'

Author Affiliations

Lexington, Mass

JAMA. 1982;247(19):2710. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320440058039

World War II is said to have been the last "popular" war, whose veterans returned to warm welcome, lavish government aid, and open job opportunities. This may be so, but let me tell you about my reception by the resident staff of a certain university hospital.

I was 23 years old when I received my MD degree from a Midwest medical school in June 1939, and the world was my oyster. I vowed to spend the next seven years in graduate medical training, research, and education. I would not try to make a dime, just be self-supporting and studious. I wanted to do biochemical research in internal medicine, but this was flexible. With such a program I planned to astound the world with my brilliance and success—beginning at age 30.

In early 1940, during the latter part of a rotating internship at a nonuniversity hospital, I began to feel the