An Interesting Interview
I am sitting in my house at my desk in the craft room with my computer in an old closet space emailing my grand father the questions meanwhile, he is sitting in his office in Rochester, New York answering my questions in detail. His desk is in the shape of a “U” with the computer at the curve.
My grandfather is tall and always where’s sweaters and jackets he is a very kind man. My Grandfather is he loves to tell stories, so he answered my questions in detail, He has wrinkly skin and He works in the university of Rochester as a doctor even though he stopped seeing patient a couple years ago. Now He edits books on hematology.
1) What was your favorite childhood memory?
“I had a wonderful boyhood in the Bronx, New York. The Bronx is one of five boroughs that make up New York City. I lived in an apartment one block away from Yankee Stadium where my favorite baseball team played. I had many friends, including my closest friend, Melvin, who lived in a neighboring apartment. We were in the same grade and walked together to and from school (P.S. 114) every day. We had two big parks near our apartment building where we played “hiding-go-seek” and climbed large rocks. We had many street games that we played including stick ball, baseball against the wall, box ball, and others. Melvin had an incredible capability to tell me the story of movies he had seen in such detail that it was like being at the movies. World War II started when I was seven and one half years old, on December 7th, 1941, and there were many war movies about the U.S. Marines, Army and Navy, and the Army Air Corps (the Air Force was part of the Army then, not its own service as it is today) with famous actors like John Wayne and Gregory Peck playing leading parts. Melvin would recount these stories to me when we had lunch together at school and it was like being at the movie itself. My father and all my uncles were away at war in the army or navy and fought in battles in the Pacific Theater and in Europe. Grandma’s father and uncles also were in the war and were in Europe or the Pacific theaters of operations. My Grandfather was an air raid warden because we thought that we might be bombed by enemy planes but that never happened. In school we practiced (had drills) as to what we do if we were bombed and at night we would have blackouts to practice what we would do to make us harder to see by enemy bombers. Sometime when we are together I can tell you more about those experiences. Our enemies in World War II, the Germans, Japanese, and Italians are now our close allies and friends, which is an example of how foolish wars are.”
2) When you where a boy did you want to be a doctor?
“I loved science and knew that I wanted to do something related to biology. I did not really think about being something in particular until I went to college. I had a chemistry set when I was in grade school and used to do chemical experiments.”
3) If so why? If not what inspired you to be a doctor?
“When in college I studied biology as my major (they called it zoology then). When I learned that I could be a physician (the correct term because a doctor could be a doctor of art history or anyone with a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) degree, even if their field was English or History) and could take care of patients, teach, and do research, I thought that would be what I wanted to do. So, after medical school, I trained in both medicine and medical science and joined the faculty of a medical school and started my own research laboratory and did clinical work seeing patients and taught medical students and residents (physicians in training).”
4) What type of medicine do you practice?
“I trained in internal medicine and then took further training to be a hematologist, which is one of the subspecialties of internal medicine. The specialties of internal medicine developed around organ systems. For example pulmonary physicians specialize in the lung and chest, gastroenterologists specialize in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. esophagus, stomach, small intestines, colon), and so forth. I specialized in diseases of blood cells and coagulation proteins. Those diseases define the subspecialty of hematology. “
5) How did you become interested in your specialty?
“When I was a medical student, I worked during the summers in a research laboratory under the direction of a hematologist. So, I had special experiences in that discipline and liked it and decided I would pursue it as a career. Many students have such an experience. They work with someone doing something interesting and decide to pursue it as a carrier.”
6) Are you still working? If so where? If not what do you do in your spare time?
“I am still working. I go to the office every day and do lots of teaching and writing: publishing books and scientific papers on hematology. The textbook of hematology of which I am an editor is being prepared into its 9th edition right now. It will be published in November 2015 I stopped seeing patients several years ago. I like to read in my spare time and used to ski and play tennis. I played tennis on my high school team. I also built airplane and boat models as a hobby. When I was young I also collected stamps, specifically of the United States.”
I have learned that my Grandfather is a very interesting person because he is a doctor this is interesting because I am also interested in science. I also found it interesting that he has not retired yet even though he could have, I guess he loves his job. I am Glad to have him as my grandfather.