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hat did it mean for my father to be a "medical scientist"?

It meant keeping up with rapidly changing medical knowledge through constant study and patient contact.

He was born at a time when any number of diseases, that we don't think twice about today, were killing large numbers of people. His maternal grandfather died at age 50 from tuberculosis. His brother died from the same disease in his late '20's. As my father noted in his speech, "The Christian Doctor," (in the Writing sub-section of the Art Section), any number of people died from bacterial infections before the discovery of penicillin in the early '40's.

Success as a diagnostician could very well mean the difference between life and death for his patients. Figuring out what condition was causing a particular set of symptoms could tax even the best minds. He was able to correctly diagnose a woman with an ectopic pregnancy, when the Head of the Gynecology Clinic at Yale Medical School and others were convinced it was pelvic inflammatory disease.

He put a lot of effort in trying to stay current with the changes in medical science. For two-and-a-half decades, he spent five days a week in the Yale University Medical Clinics. When he returned home from World War II, he didn't immediately return to his practice. Instead, he spent a year at Cornell Medical School in New York City, in a post graduate program in Internal Medicine. For several decades, one day each month, he would take the train to Manhattan to review x-rays with the staff at the Hospital for Joint Diseases and with his friend and colleague, George Cannon.

Although he lived an active life, my father spent many hours quietly reading. If you look closely you can see a pair of magnifying lenses that clipped onto his wire-rimmed glasses.
Many an evening, I found him in his upstairs study for hours, reading his medical journals.

After 40 years of practice, when he was in his '70's, my father felt he still had to actively pursue medical knowledge.

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