Dr. G was my residency program director. I took a year off to regroup after internship year and applied to his program — and he took a chance and let me in for the second and third year of residency. He didn’t like all his residents — the original Match was and is imprecise — but he did in fact pick me personally and thought I was a decent doctor.
He ran a tight ship and was protective of his residents, but you did not want to cross him. He could make life even more miserable than it already was — and if you really pissed him off, he could continue that misery beyond residency. But he was fair. Behind that massive intellect and dedication to practicing “good medicine” was a generous man.
Dr. G died last week after a sudden but mercifully short deterioration in his underlying disease. I was shocked to hear the news: as with Mom, I had assumed that he would outlive us all. In the end he was in the hospital he loved, surrounded by family and colleagues, his attending a former (and favorite) resident from 25 years ago.
My last encounter with him went something like this:
“Are you practicing?”
“Ummm, well, I am a practicing historian . . . . “
I will miss his presence in the world.