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A generational divide, biomedical engineering and a new chapter in organ transplantation

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2007 - Autumn


When we were looking for a writer to explore a generational trend—the desire of young doctors to balance their personal and professional lives—we immediately thought of Jenny Blair, M.D. ’04. Jenny had written for us before—a witty essay about medical jargon for Yale Medicine [“From the Beautiful to the Obscure,” Winter 2004] and a feature article about her four years living in the Harkness dormitory [“That College Feeling,” Spring 2004]. She also found time as a medical student to write a column for the Hartford Courant about becoming a doctor. In her cover story for this issue, Jenny spoke to physicians of her own generation who want time for themselves and their families, as well as to older doctors who conduct their lives by a different ethos. Paralleling her story is New Haven photographer Julie Brown’s photo essay about the life of a young ophthalmologist at Yale who’s trying to build a career, spend time with his nephrologist wife and young daughter, and still find time to play soccer.

Boston-based writer Pat McCaffrey traveled to Yale this spring to report on the links between three young scientists in the Department of Biomedical Engineering who started their careers in the laboratory of Robert Langer, Sc.D., at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All three—W. Mark Saltzman, Ph.D., Erin Lavik, Sc.D., and Laura E. Niklason, M.D., Ph.D.—have made huge strides in biomedical engineering, in projects ranging from off-the-shelf vascular tubing for bypass surgery to medication-soaked wafers that dissolve in the brain. They each credit Langer with encouraging and inspiring them.

In our third feature, we welcome liver surgeon Sukru H. Emre, M.D., who arrived at Yale this summer from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City to head up the organ transplant program. Throughout his career he’s earned accolades from patients as well as former students and residents. “I’d never profiled anyone where so many sources had such extravagant praise for a subject,” said writer Colleen Shaddox.

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