What was my biggest obstacle?
My parents each came from large families. In the days of my youth the immigrant families provided education only for the male offspring. Not one of my many girl cousins was interested nor encouraged to seek a college education. All of the boys who so desired were given the opportunity. My father was the youngest in a family of one son and six daughters. My eldest aunt told me with authority that girls did not need to go to college. At age 4 when I learned the meaning of the word "college" I decided that I would certainly achieve that goal. My intelligent, hard-working father suffered loss during the depression. From early childhood I worked and saved enough to pay with added full scholarships at Bryn Mawr College and [Hahnemann] Medical School to cover all my educational costs without any financial support from parents or others. I was determined to achieve my educational goals and not to marry until I completed my degrees. In addition to my goal of education and medicine, I added a wish for a mutually loving marriage. I hoped for children to raise as a family in a warm artistic home filled with love and music. I felt confidant that I could be a good wife, loving mother and also have a fine career in medicine. It seemed like a big order, but I was confident enough to try to fulfill my dreams without compromise.
How do I make a difference?
I truly enjoy and love people. Moreover I feel happiest when I am able to do or say things which are understanding, helpful and when possible humorous. I believe in the enhancement of the vital immune system with positive input. There are a variety of positives: love must certainly be among the most important, adding the joys of nature, music, art, literature, socialization, physical activities, the knowledge and practice of healthy, happy, living behaviors. Standards of following the golden rule and the rewards of living life with high ethical goals, integrity, honesty, empathy and efforts to forgive and forget when others may on occasion throw sling shots our way.
Who was my mentor?
I pay tremendous tribute to my many remarkable mentors. To those from early years until this very day I am certain that any success I may have achieved and hope to continue is the result of influence by those who cared, loved, taught and guided me. I start with my loving, dedicated and sacrificing parents who were hard working devoted and encouraging of my dream fulfillment.
Then there was Jessie Taylor, the mother of my best friend Jeanne. Jessie was a model as a private kindergarten teacher in her home, and was my first piano teacher. With Jeanne I planted a flower and vegetable garden, read the exciting books such as Pinocchio, Heidi, A Christmas Carol, and took long hikes on freezing days.
Then teachers all through school from kindergarten through college, medical school, internship, residencies all the way were mentors, supervisors, teaching and encouraging and referring patients to me. I was truly a privileged child and adult all the years of my life beyond the bounds of any expectation.
How has my career evolved over time?
I deferred acceptance of marriage proposals until after my graduation from medical school. My medical school education was during the World War II when the Army and Navy enlisted male medical students in a program in which the service provided the tuition and expenses of the education in exchange for military service. The four years of medical school were compressed into three calendar years with only a few weeks of vacation each year such as Christmas week. I served my internship in Philadelphia General Hospital. It was much sought after, as it was a public hospital serving the indigent. Interns were given opportunities for more experience than that of most private hospitals. During my internship I married a physician. We started our family two years after we were married while my husband completed his radiology training. We had two sons (lost the second) and two daughters.
After the last child was born and had a good start (and after my impatient waiting), I began my training in psychiatry. That was accomplished with some creative compromises with the chief of psychiatry at the most sought after training institution in my city. I was given the privilege of working hard enough to complete my assignment in half a day and allowed to be at home with children the rest of the day. I took a complete psychoanalytic training with adults and children concurrently with my three-year psychiatric residency. On completion of my training, the children were all in school and I was able again to see patients and also teach residents half day and be at home when the children returned from school. My training in psychoanalysis included a personal psychoanalysis which, in addition to the value it provided in practice, was of great benefit to my family and me. My training psychiatrists were extremely generous in helping me build a practice. As the children grew older and developed many interests and activities it was easier for me to spend more time in teaching and practicing. My private practice was in my home, which was well suited because the office was well separated from the family rooms.
My husband and I shared many interests such as music, art, opera, biking, swimming, travel, and educational interests.