When I was born my father was in Germany serving our country in WW II. We moved to Gainesville, Florida where he finished his education and provided for his family. We weren’t poor but there was never much extra. Dad was strict yet fair with little room for foolishness. As a kid my days were spent exploring Gainesville on my ultramarine blue Schwinn. I studied hard and made good grades but that didn’t keep me out of the principal’s office. I was the class clown and well acquainted with “The Enforcer” which hung on Mrs Terwilliger’s wall. One day, following the last of five whacks, I turned and said, “might as well go ahead and give me a few more so we can both save ourselves some time in the future.” She couldn’t help but crack a smile.
With the guidance of my Dad, Mrs. Terwilliger, the Boy Scouts and the best high school poker pals ever, I ended up staying out of serious trouble and was accepted to the University of Florida as a medical student, continuing my studies as an intern at Duke and as a resident and fellow at Johns Hopkins where I became a hematologist. My career at the University of Florida spanned the next 40 years where I served as a professor, performed research and published in areas related to hematology. I became especially interested in the hematologic effects of rattlesnake bites which developed into a special interest along with clinical hemophilia. I still spent a lot of time in the “principal’s office” usually for my mouth getting me into all sorts of adventures but even the College of Medicine Dean can crack a grin unexpectedly. I retired in 2015 and continue to serve as Professor Emeritus, which mostly means I have free parking. One of my greatest accomplishments in my career was selecting, training, mentoring, disciplining and deeming board-eligible over 500 Internal Medicine residents now scattered across the nation in various subspecialties caring for thousands of patients.