Dad recalled an incident in the early ’60s, in which Columbia University professor Charles Ragan was asked, “what does it take to be a good rheumatologist?” by a young fellow. After trying to answer the question, he finally stopped, looked at the fellow and said, “Do you know what it takes? About 20 years!” Dad epitomized Dr. Ragan’s observation. He never forgot that a thorough history and physical exam were the most important components of deriving the appropriate diagnosis, a fact he learned while working with some of the people responsible for our specialty. He would marvel any time he saw a new clinical finding not picked up in a patient. While he enjoyed his time in academia, it was his work with patients that kept him young. Even through his battles the last year of his life, he held hope that he would return to the practice he loved. He was a role model for all physicians fortunate enough to work with him, and he is sorely missed by his patients colleagues, and family.
Christopher R. Morris, MD
Arthritis Associates, Kingsport, Tenn.