Two of my cousins were surgeons and I had scrubbed in first year. Still,
I was left-handed and the sight of too much blood worried me. My uncle Morris
said the future was in radiology. "Listen, Howie, don't be stupid like your
cousins," Morris said. "Surgeons don't sleep." I had another uncle who was
a GP. Harry was a tough army doctor who had taken me on house calls when I
was a kid. He thought I should join his practice, together with his two sons.
My father, an old-time druggist, had advice too: "Stay away from drug stores,"
he said. "Fighting discount chains is no life." My dad had wanted to be a
doctor like the rest of the family.