A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S
At the time of this writing, I have been a physician for fifty years
and have been publishing scientific lit er a ture for forty-five of
them. This is my first attempt at writing a book about something
other than science. Moving beyond disciplined academic writing
to a highly personal story without preconditioned bound aries has
been a difficult challenge and one for which my professional career
did not prepare me. Among the many things I’ve gained during the
preparation of this book is a greater appreciation of how much I
owe to others for the many opportunities I’ve had.
First, I’d like to mention my parents— Ida and MorrisSnyderman—
immigrants who fled the pogroms in the Ukraine in 1918 and
ultimately made their way to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to what I
realize in retrospect was a lower- middle- class neighborhood. In a
one bedroom apartment, they raised my older brother Ted and me
as best they could. My parents knew very little about scholastics or
ways beyond the hardships they experienced, yet they raised me to
understand that my future lay outside of Brooklyn. They taught me
the importance of learning, integrity, per sis tence, high aspirations,
and striving to do impor tant things. The traits I learned from them
and the rugged nature of my years growing up provided me with a
toughness and determination that, for better or worse, have con-
tinued to shape me. I am grateful to my brother Ted, who tragically
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