Monthly Archives: June 2014

Standard protocol—individualized

I will always remember this spring as a time of weddings.  First (and foremost!), my daughter’s wedding in Iowa City in late May followed by weddings in June of a cousin in Florida and a nephew in Maryland. I also came upon a number of weddings during my recent visit to Romania, including a wedding procession marching down the main street in a tiny Transylvania town and weddings taking place in the Orthodox and Catholic churches of the beautifully preserved and restored fortress town of Alba Iulia. Continue reading

Yogi Berra and Molecular Oncology

I can think of nothing better than Yogi Berra quotes to organize a brief discussion of how molecular oncology is impacting cancer medicine.

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

When I was growing up in New York, if you had asked me which was more likely – for me to spend my career as a cancer center director in Iowa, or to own a flying car, I most definitely would have predicted the flying car. So much for predicting the future. Continue reading

Culture shock

I am on the road this week.

First, I took a trip to West Palm Beach for a family wedding. On arrival at the airport, and at the wedding, it was apparent there are some small stylistic differences between southern Florida and the Midwest. However, the similarities far exceeded the differences and it would be a stretch to say there is a big cultural difference between the two.

Then, yesterday, I got on a plane and flew over the Atlantic to represent the Association of American Cancer Institutes at a meeting of the Organization of European Cancer Institutes in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In fact, I am sending this blog from Cluj where I arrived a few hours ago. I spent this afternoon walking around the town to help me deal with jet lag before the meeting starts tonight.   In less than 24 hours, I went from tanned Florida retirees to a dynamic eastern European country where I don’t know the language. Now, that is culture shock! Continue reading

Succeeding together over winning

All of us have thought at one point or another about what we would have done professionally if we had the opportunity to start over and take a path totally different from the one we actually pursued.   For many years when asked this question, I answered that I would have enjoyed being an architect. Designing buildings would have allowed me to use both the scientific and the creative aspects of my brain. I also like the tangible and long-lasting aspects of building something – attributes that also apply to my current career in academic medicine. Continue reading