Who is your favorite person?
My wife, Dr. Ernestine Friedl [professor emerita of cultural anthropology and a former dean of Trinity College and of the faculty of arts and sciences]. She is just a beautiful, lovely person, whom everybody adores.
What do you value?
I value my family and the great love we share.... I value the opportunity I have been given by Duke to continue to be of service and the marvelous experience of teaching the "Practice Course," an introduction to clinical medicine for first- and second-year medical students.
In his words:
Research has always been very important to me. I had the great fortune of working in places that were supportive of it and with people who contributed so much to my growth.
When I was very young, an uncle of mine, who was a physiologist, made a great impression on me. From the age of five, I was going to be a doctor and I was going to operate like my uncle.
I started out as a surgical house officer at Johns Hopkins with plans of going into neurosurgery. During my first year of medical school I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. So, it didn't seem that continuing with surgery would be desirable. But I had to rotate through anesthesia, and I met the head of the department, who offered me a post as a resident. I took it, and it was during that time, working under Dr. [Alfred] Blalock [one of the two physicians who developed the "blue baby" operation], that I had the extraordinary experience of being the first to anesthetize a blue baby, a child afflicted by a fatal heart malformation. The operation--making a bypass for the blood to get to the lung--had never been done. This was a very dramatic procedure, a world event. It was 1944 and people came from all over the world to see Dr. Blalock operate. That colored my career, you could say.