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December 26, 1990

Surgical Professor for Three Eventful Decades

JAMA. 1990;264(24):3185-3188. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450240087045

MY CLASS entered surgery as interns 51 years ago. The lives of our generation seem to have been more part of an era than of surgery alone. We witnessed the depression, world war, and then two "explosions," one that ushered in the atomic age and another, more gradual, that greatly expanded the scope and power of the biosciences in medicine and particularly in surgery. These two explosions in knowledge were to become very much part of my own life, both because of my early work with radioactive and stable isotopes, a direct outgrowth of nuclear research, and because of the advent of modern metabolic care, tissue transplantation, cardiac surgery, and safe convalescence throughout a hugely broadened surgical capability. These medical advances, in which many surgery departments played a role, including my own at Harvard Medical School, have shaped surgical practice during the last half of this century.

When I entered