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August 24, 1994

The Road Less Traveled: A Conversation With My Son

JAMA. 1994;272(8):627-629. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520080069046

I have had the opportunity to address many different audiences—both inside and outside the federation—and I have told many audiences how happy I was to be in this place or that, but I can't begin to tell you how honored I am to stand before you tonight, surrounded by so many familiar faces.

It is a moment for the poets. Robert Frost writes,

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Frost's poem is about the choices that we make: what we choose, how we choose, and why we choose. But if the poem is about choosing, it is also about character. Something impels the poet to choose the road less traveled, just as something inside each of us in this room has impelled us to pursue the endless frontier that is medicine.

Why did we

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