Attending Alumni Weekend this year provided the full spectrum of experience for me. Here are snippets of my observations:
- The CME discussion featured advances in imaging. Lee Rogers, MD ’59, former chair of radiology at Northwestern, described his relationship to Nobel prizewinning Sir Godfrey Hounsfield and his creation of cross-sectional imaging — the “CAT Scan.” (The first one appeared on campus while I was a medical clerk at Wesley.) Dr. Rogers noted that “this machine didn’t come with instructions.” It is this sense of novelty that permeates the medical school campus.
- The students I met had the same sense of enthusiasm that I remember in my classmates on the first day of anatomy lab. Yes, they seemed a bit more sophisticated, but certainly not jaded. A mentorship luncheon was attended by more than 80 students who asked alumni insightful questions about their chosen specialty. At another luncheon, I heard the stories of talented students who were able to attend Northwestern only because of scholarship funding. Their experiences confirmed my sense that our profession is in good hands for the next generation.
- Our alumni dinner featured Michael Barratt, MD ’85, GME ’89 who brought a medical school sesquicentennial banner back from his trip to the International Space Station. Newly inaugurated University President Morton Schapiro delighted the audience with his disarming humor.
- Back at the educational session, an imaging technique that differentiates the presence of uric acid crystals within the synovial fluid was demonstrated in the evaluation of a patient with acute podagra. The look on the faces of the Class of 1960 said it all — “I don’t need a fancy test to treat THAT!” It reminded me that in our enthusiasm for technology, experience and clinical judgment should always have their place.
All the best,
F. Douglas Carr, MD ’78, MMM
President, Alumni Association