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Connective tissue

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2004 - Spring


I still have vivid memories of my first day of dorm life. The year was 1977, the city was Baltimore and the weather was what you’d expect in late August: hot and very, very humid. Music filled the quad, everyone was friendly and at dinner that night there was a communal air that endured long after we had moved off the Hopkins campus for the thrill of living on our own.

That was Maryland, not Connecticut; college, not med school; and it was more than 25 years ago. Nonetheless, the experience held the same charm for me that medical student Jenny Blair conveys in her memoir of four years in Harkness Hall (“That College Feeling”). Dorm life has its downside, but it’s the one time many of us will live in close quarters with a large group of our peers.

The “connective tissue” linking a community of physicians is also a thread in our cover story about the dilemmas that face medical practitioners in their professional lives. The values instilled by institutions such as Yale and reinforced by the relationships that begin here form the basis for ethical decision making for years to come. Our third feature (“Journey of the Heart”) describes another type of connection, this one a collaboration between physicians in New Haven and Tehran that revealed the genetic cause of a heart disorder affecting children around the world. Without good communication among scientists from different worlds, this discovery would not have occurred.

To meet our goal of keeping the Yale family in touch, we rely on you, our readers, to share stories of interest to your colleagues, friends, patients and former classmates. Whether it’s a brief note for the Alumni section, a profile suggestion for Faces or an exciting new direction in research or patient care, we’d like to hear about it. Drop us a line the next time you feel like connecting.

Michael Fitzsousa

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