The Professor

Some teachers are memorable. In medical school, one of mine was particularly so.

I remember the first day of Micro/ID. He was tall, 6’2â€? at least, slender, and grizzled. His three-day stubble, loose shirt, jeans, and paint-stained loafers fit him like a tailored suit. Standing in front of the class with a thoroughly relaxed energy, he began to speak.

“Good morning,â€? he said. “This class does not matter. Don’t worry about it, don’t fret or bother with grades and scores. You may have never heard a teacher say that before. But I’m saying it now, and you damn-well better listen.â€?

“What you will learn in this class does matter. How well you understand it will determine the rest of your career as a doctor. So do not study or learn for the grades. Learn the material for the material. Grades will come to you if they come second for you.â€?

Then he proceeded to teach the hardest course I’ve ever taken.

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