When I moved to New Orleans to attend LSU Medical School, I had some foreknowledge from friends but nothing would prepare me for the reality of it. The school and Charity Hospital seemed so daunting. I could almost hear the voices asking, ” Are you up to this, Boy?”. We were involved over at the Big C from day one even in the midst of all that basic science. One night, I can’t remember which service but we were admitting. It was wee hours of the morning and we students were still getting used to the long hours being in the hospital. The entire crew went to to the doctors’ dining room, a singular honor for medical students. I was grateful because I was tired, hungry with no prospect of a meal except courtesy of our interns and residents. We sat at a table near a gaggle of women who presumably served the tables. Nothing was happening so I motioned to one of them to come over. Still no action. One of her colleagues said, “That doctor wants you”. The reply, quite loudly was, “That ain’t no doctor, he’s a student.” Put me in my place! Finally they did come serve us and I was so tired and hungry, the insults didn’t matter, just give me something to eat. We had, I believe, what we called mystery meat. It could not be discerned what animal it came from nor the cut. We used to joke that it was left over placentas from Labor and Delivery. Nothing like that dark, medical student humor. LSU and Charity Hospital constituted a signature event in my life. Nothing save a real shooting war could have had a bigger impact. (I guess we were in a war zone, actually.) After that experience, I was ready for anything. When I moved to Houston, huge compared to New Orleans and went to work in the Texas Medical Center, nothing phased me. That’s what I owe to LSU School of Medicine. We were prepared, we were educated, not only academically but practically. I’ve met many medical students and doctors from big name academic centers and medical schools who are smart but didn’t know enough to come in out of the rain. Thank you, LSU.

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