Dr. Sergent continues to work full time with no plans for retirement any time soon, but in his free time he and his wife of 46 years, Carole, enjoy travel, hiking, doting on their four grandchildren, and playing golf, something they both took up so late in life that, as Dr. Sergent says, “We don’t let an occasional triple bogey get us down!”
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Dr. Drake, who is now a colleague of her former teacher (and who was the subject of a poignant “Healing Words” column about the unique relationship between herself, a young African-American resident, and her older Caucasian patient), reflects on Dr. Sergent’s singular combination of intelligence and compassion.4 “Dr. Sergent is a supreme intellect, and he has employed those powers for good,” she says. “While some people use their astuteness to acquire more power or personal wealth, he’s not like that. He’s used his incredible acumen to make house staff smarter, to make faculty more effective teachers, and to share his remarkable enthusiasm for medicine. All these ensure that patients have quality care. You look back and realize the world is better because someone used this great intellectual ability to make it so.”
Gretchen Henkel is writing the “Profiles in Rheumatology” series.
- Sergent JS, Lockshin MD, Klempner MS, Lipsky BA. Central nervous system disease in systemic lupus erythematosus. Therapy and prognosis. Am J Med. 1975;58:644-654.
- History of the ACR. Available at www.rheumatology.org/about/history/index.asp. Accessed January 5, 2010.
- Sergent JS. “Beth.” Healing Words: A compilation of the best columns of John Sergent, MD. Cold Tree Press; Nashville, Tennessee. 2009.
- Sergent JS. “Wonder.” Healing Words: A compilation of the best columns of John Sergent, MD. Cold Tree Press; Nashville, Tennessee. 2009.