By Michael J. Katin, MD
As we go through the seasons, it is brought to attention that most of us no longer have any specific events
to anticipate. For example, in high school and college there was always hope that no matter how bad things were,
the semester would be ending and you could start over again. We always had a lot of end points in our lives, ranging
from SAT scores, to Organic Chemistry grades, and eventually to passing (or failing) board certification.
These landmarks gave some structure to our activities. Once a medical practice is established, there are very
few events that have the same significance in terms of determining our future course. Each week seems like the
previous, with minor changes in the cast. There is nothing special that will be occurring in May, 1998, compared
to May, 1997. The only landmark events as you get older now seem to have only potentially hazardous connotations,
such as getting your PSA results or mammogram results (fortunately, usually only one of each per gender).
I think the solution to stagnation is to reinstitute the types of branch points that served as denotations of
passage to higher levels when we were younger and life was more of a challenge. We should endorse the concept of
recertification, for example, excluding (of course) those certified in 1983 and before. Setting up more and more
things to which to look forward is the key to having a more stimulated and stimulating lifestyle. Finally, I think
the most creative and potentially rewarding innovation would be . . . (continued in August