I think my friend Dr Schein had a lot of fun writing his letter to the editor and taking me to task about my special article. I thank him for his compliments, accolades, and observations. However, just because I did it, and so did many other surgeons, does not make it right. Also, the surgical world is becoming more complex. I admire Dr Schein's enthusiasm and energy as a young academic achiever. I hope he can do it all.
What is described and Dr Schein responds to is human nature—the surgical personality—joining, making contributions, publishing and perishing, gaining prestige, rising to the top, seeking great honors. In the mail today I received invitations to the cardiovascular symposium known as Taste of Chicago; the Third Annual Gastroenterology and Hepatology Symposium in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the 2003 International Seminars in Medicine and Medical-Legal Issues in the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Alaska, South America, Asia, and an Atlantic Crossing; Cardiology at Big Sky; and Echo Hawaii 2003. I also received the Cardiology Review Journal, Science, Surgical Rounds, Health News, Journal Watch, the New Yorker, and an invitation by Lippincott to subscribe to Critical Care Medicine and buy the books Procedures and Techniques in Intensive Care Medicine, Critical Care Handbook of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Stedman's Medical Dictionary, and Irwin and Rippe's Intensive Care Medicine.