Saturday, June 16, 2007

In two weeks I shall retire after nearly fifty years in medicine. I hope I have helped some along the way because this was my intent. I have had many secondary rewards, the greatest of which has been teaching residents and medical students. Pride from positions I have held such as President of the Clinic, Chairman of Radiology, Board Examiner and others pales in comparison to the joy of teaching.
Even with the satisfaction of a fulfilling career, I have created some Frankensteins along the way. A few people and projects have come back to disappointment and even bite me, after being released into the world.
In 1818 Mary Shelly wrote the book Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus. Prometheus was a figure from Greek Mythology who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals to help them. The mortals, in some cases, used the fire for evil things. Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock and the eagles came each day and feasted on his liver. Because Prometheus was immortal his liver would heal itself and he lived on in misery.
The movies made Frankenstein into the figure we know today. Even in the movies he intended to be good but the treatment by the villagers turned him into something evil.
Basically, a Frankenstein is created with the intention of good, but turns out bad or evil. It’s a common scenario. Scientist and others are often so caught up in the excitement and challenge of creating something, they don’t think about the consequences of their creation. The result may be a Frankenstein.
I’m sure sorry for the few Frankensteins I have helped create. Some of mine still terrorize the hill on 31st St. in Temple. Some have moved on to terrorize others. I hope the good things and people, more than offset the bad ones.
My hope is that some of my Frankensteins will read this blog and think about the intent of their origin and change. I suspect this is probably not at all possible because I was working with a faulty brain or an imperfect idea from the beginning.
As for me, I will be leaving some of these evil creations July 1st and, hopefully, will be free from them in the sanctuary of my castle in Salado. I apologize to those left with some of the terrors but I remain confident that good and right will prevail.


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