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September 15, 2008

The Inconvenient Era

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(9):920. doi:10.1001/archotol.134.9.920

My father's office seemed to be a mecca of instruments and gadgets that reminded me of some type of Mr Wizard–like laboratory. I could spend time at his monocular microscope looking at anything I could place on the slide. He had orthopedic splints that seemed to fit any bone or joint imaginable. His Frank Netter collection of books, which remains with me, seemed absolutely fascinating. I could not understand the words, but the pictures were great.

One problem growing up with a physician-father was that people always seemed to know who I was. I could never get away with anything. Whatever obnoxious activity I might engage in during the day, however clever I might think I was being, I would hear about it at the family dinner table that night. Early childhood is tough enough without your parents always discovering what you tried to get away with earlier that day. I could be standing anywhere, minding my own business, when a perfect stranger would come up to me and, after staring for a few moments, say, in almost an accusatory tone, “You're Dr Schroeder's son, aren't you?” The stranger would then inform me how my father had drained their boil, reduced a fracture, or taken care of their grandson.

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