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March 1994

NeonatologyThe Six-Finger Exercise Revisited

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(3):323. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170030093021

Thirty-five years ago in the nursery at Walter Reed,

For medical students I realized the teaching need

For a cartoon to help them think and to remind

Of problems of the newborn they needed to find.

A baby's hand with tied-off digit was designed1

And broad subject areas to each finger assigned.

With the palm to represent the importance of the brain

And in the tied-off finger from iatrogenica to refrain.

I did not realize that into this hand was cast my fate

To use this approach in many a country and state,

Or neonatology would become a science and specialty;

And that iatrogenica, a major reason for it to be.

After prolonged use and repeated persuasion

Warren Wheeler insisted upon its publication.

Not only was "The Hand" for others to use and see,

It served as a reminder of science and ethics to me.

It pleases me that others