I just returned home from the ACR annual meeting. I was gratified to hear many kind comments about this “column.” Several colleagues asked about my aging dogs; while I appreciate the solicitous inquiries, I hope readers remember more from my contributions than that Sweedee and Speckles are approaching 100 dog-years (their health remains excellent, I’m happy to relate). Home for me has changed. As suggested in my previous byline, I have left my position as chair and program director in the Department of Medicine at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ, after 22 years, to accept a professorship in rheumatology (and medicine) at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC). I enjoyed my responsibilities at Saint Barnabas but couldn’t resist the opportunity for a new challenge (the average longevities of a medicine department chair or program director are c. 6 years) in the role of a clinical scholar in a exciting fresh academic and geographic setting, with wonderful new colleagues, and the chance to live literally around the block from our only married child, Rachel (married to Will), and our only grandchildren (Lia, 8, and Etan, 5) while they are still young and while my wife, Rena, and I feel young and are reasonably healthy. Indeed, the children all walked over for dinner the other night and Etan asked “Zeide [Yiddish for grandfather; our family tradition], what are macrophoges?” Microphone, you mean? “No, Zeide,” he said, “cells that eat the bad B cells that cause disease.” I was stunned; that’s more immunology than I probably learned in medical school. So, my family (including dogs) and I are enjoying this new chapter in my professional and personal life.
Explore This IssueJanuary 2011
Also By This Author
In nearly two dozen activities reported, subjects’ minds were wandering more than 30% of the time, except for during sex, when people seemed to be focused on what they were doing (90% of the time) and reported being happy.
It’s quite lovely here in southern California, and particularly appealing in the winter (especially after growing up in Detroit and living 22 years in New Jersey). I love being back at an academic health center with a beautiful campus. Walking from my office to clinic, the consultation center, the hospitals, the library, the bookstore, the nearby park, the Starbucks, or by the volleyball net, and seeing all the students, residents, faculty, and staff in the warm sun is conducive to daydreaming, not unlike the lyrics from the song by The Mamas and the Papas (1965):