It has been an incredible journey since moving to New Mexico in 1988. I will miss my patients, especially the cleft kids, whose courage always inspired me. I will miss my office staff and the hospital staff; how we worked together towards a common goal. It is difficult to give up something that one truly loves. I gave as much as I could possibly give to make this world a better place. I wish I could have done more. Alas, it is time.

As for what to do, I have no concrete plans. I would like to learn how to plant a garden. I have joined a volunteer group building trails in the Sandia Mountains. I will likely travel. I love to read, cook, hike, and bike. Mostly, I love the life I have with my beautiful wife and companion of 42 years, Kat. To her I owe a lot.

I looked for inspiration in these books that have influenced my thinking and training in surgery and life:

  • The Scalpel, the Sword: The Story of Doctor Norman Bethune by Ted Allan and Sydney Gordon, 1952
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder, 2009
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn, 1970
  • An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine by Claude Bernard, 1865
  • Discours de la Méthode (Discourse on the Method) by Rene Descartes, 1637
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig, 1974
  • The Scalpel and the Silver Bear: The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing by Lori Arviso Alvord, Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt, 2000
  • The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp, 2006

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”

Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)