Roll models

The heat must be getting to me!

Hot summer days can cause daydreaming. Thoughts drift toward occasions and things that have influenced me and made my own life richer and more meaningful.


One of my role models, Dr. Arthur H. Aufses Jr., professor emeritus of surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Some of my most pleasant memories have been built around cars. In fact, I have been fascinated by anything that involves movement and machinery. This delight in mechanical things likely developed as I followed my grandfather in his rounds through our family’s chocolate factory in Jamaica. The more serious and chronic “infection” occurred as I “helped” my father with his car repairs. That was until he tired of my so called assistance and dismissed me to “go to your mother!” Until then, I would ask questions and absorb all that I could about the underpinnings of whatever car he was working on.

Of course, I had my own collection of model cars: Matchbox cars, Dinky cars and many other brands I can’t seem to remember. Some had wind-up motors, some scooted off, driven by an internal flywheel, and others just looked racy. Many became victims of a curious young mind and were irrevocably dismantled to find out what made them go.

Some of the largest ones were all shiny and made out of tinny metal. They certainly were created to catch a young child’s eye. As a budding car enthusiast, it soon became clear that the better and more durable value was to be found in the less flashy, more densely weighted die-cast models. They had much more detail and depth to offer.

Today, one also has choices in “roll models,” or role models, to be more precise.

I understand that today one can find a role model online. The value apparently is in the communication, no matter how impersonal.

My role models have all cast a long shadow in their close and available presence. I have admired them in some very significant and personal way. They each have displayed qualities that I feel are worth emulating.

Interestingly, all of the role models in my life have been what would be considered “real people.” Perhaps the better description would be to say that they were compellingly authentic. Candid, reliable and lucid in thought, compassionate and caring in style.

All have been confident in who they have been and understandably proud of the journey that took them to the place in their lives they occupied.

It has been a personal pleasure to recognize that there are so many accomplished individuals who have dedicated themselves to the work of the Brody School of Medicine. It is easy to recognize that we have hundreds of role models here. All that is necessary, then, is for each of us to understand what being a role model means and be comfortable in that recognition.

Our patients, our students and our colleagues interdependently rely on us for this conscious authenticity. So do our families, acquaintances and our community at large.

Are you aware that you are someone’s role model right now? If you could pick your own role models, who would they be, and why?

But don’t let the heat get to you!


One comment

  • Minister Evelyn Dove Coleman

    Dr. A.A. Best was a role-model and a “roll model” to me. He loved his cars and his patients. According to him, had I been able to stand needles, I would have gone far in medicine.

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