[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 16, 1984

The Face Beyond

Author Affiliations

Asheville, NC

JAMA. 1984;251(11):1423. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340350021008

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Occasionally, when my day seems such a jumble of incessantly crying children, demanding problems, and lengthening hours, as to make me wonder about my choice of profession, I remember the face of a certain child, and I am renewed.

My career was to be in medicine; I knew that and had thought of nothing else long before I entered the university. Pediatrics was only a blur of an idea, however, during those college days, when one of my extracurricular activities took me to a local crippled children's hospital.

I don't recall his name. He always sat rigidly in his wheelchair, backed up against the wall, white enameled steel beds surrounding him like the bars of a prison. He cared little for the movies I brought from the university film library and held back from the banter and rowdy play of the other children, even those in wheelchairs like his own.