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L E T T E R S/E - M A I L

Dear Editor,

I was a resident at Babies from 1945 to 1946 [and a September 1944 P&S graduate]. I particularly enjoyed the latest issue of P&S [Fall 1998] in which I saw two very familiar names, one happily not in the obits. Jim Kieran was my classmate [1944 class notes]. In the obits I saw the name of Girard Oberrender who grew up in South Orange with my father. During one of my father’s rare visits to see me at P&S during the war years he took me to visit Dr. Oberrender at his office. Dr. Oberrender most graciously spent an unhurried bit of time with my father and me despite what I am certain was an office full of patients waiting to be seen.

Paul (Pete) Pierson’44
Lake Wales, Fla.

Dear Editor,

Please tell Nick Christy I greatly enjoyed his piece about Dr. Whipple [Fall 1998]. He might like to hear my anecdote. From April through July 1946, after interning in medicine at Yale, I was assigned to the Halloran General Hospital on Staten Island. One of my patients was a major in the Army Medical Corps. Because he was diagnosed as having carcinoma of the pancreas it was arranged for him to be seen by Dr. Whipple in consultation. I was asked to accompany him. After he had been seen, Dr. Whipple came out, saw that I was a medical officer, and asked where I had gone to medical school. I told him I had graduated from P&S the previous year. He hesitated, looked so taken aback, and, saddened, then said, “I used to know all the students—but it was so busy during the war.”

F. Mitchell Cummins’45
Rye, N.Y.


Female Surgeons and the Music They Operate By

Responses to the Fall 1998 article, “A New Spin on Medical ‘Records’: Music in the OR”

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to your article in the Fall 1998 issue regarding the use of music in the OR.

Just as music serves to “set the mood” in elevators, restaurants, and on movie soundtracks, I find that music enhances the operative experience for my staff and patients, as well as for myself. Since I perform many procedures using sedation, rather than general anesthesia, I will suggest that patients bring in tapes they enjoy for their surgery, with the proviso that I have veto power (Marilyn Manson doesn’t work for me).

As others indicated in your article, I will at times prefer silence, particularly when a high degree of concentration is needed. Music in the OR, however, is my general rule, lest I start singing, which the staff definitely does not tolerate!

Rhonda Lubka’81
Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
Los Angeles Medical Center

Dear Editor,

I am a graduate of P&S Class of ’73 with an active practice at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the Department of General Surgery. I am also a classically trained pianist. My listening choice in the OR is Cleveland’s wonderful classical music station, WCLV. I will also occasionally bring in a CD, but I don’t like to get glove powder on my recordings! I do ask the nurses to keep the volume down so we can all communicate, particularly if the station is doing some 20th century atonal music!

Sharon Grundfest-Broniatowski’73
via e-mail


The Fall 1998 issue carried two misidentified photos in commencement awards coverage (“P&S News,” page 28). The photos are reprinted here with correct identifications.

Dr. Michael H. Wigler, adjunct professor of genetics and development and investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, received the Stevens Triennial Prize at commencement.
Michael H. Wigler, left, with Dean Herbert Pardes
Michael H. Wigler, left, with Dean Herbert Pardes
Dr. Arthur Palmer, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, received the Dr. Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award in basic sciences.
Arthur Palmer, left, with Dean Herbert Pardes
Arthur Palmer, left, with Dean Herbert Pardes
Send letters to:

Editor, P&S Journal
College of Physicians and Surgeons
630 W. 168th St
New York, NY 10032

E-mail: psjournal@columbia.edu

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