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October 6, 1989

Mrs Rodell

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

New York, NY

JAMA. 1989;262(13):1847. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430130123046

People often ask me why I chose ophthalmology as my specialty. I state the reason quite simply: "Mrs Rodell."

I met Mrs Rodell when I was in medical school. I had wanted to earn some extra money; perusing the ads in the local paper, I read: "Intelligent, blind widow needs someone to read to her a few hours a week. Special interest in topics of medicine. Excellent compensation." A few hours a week seemed reasonable and wouldn't cut into my study time too seriously. I wondered why was she interested in medicine. Was she a physician? I called and scheduled an interview.

Mrs Rodell lived in a huge redbrick house in a nice section of town. A maid answered the door; she led me upstairs to a large bedroom with lace curtains and oriental rugs. Mrs Rodell sat in an immense, four-poster bed and was propped up with several plump