The Making of a Physician: This Was My Calling
by Harry L. Graber, M.D. F.A.C.C.

"The making of a physician is suggestive that the in the hands of The Artist...who after multiple attempts...visualizes his finished product to be very good."

Because the author’s parents were in fact parental teachers, his first thought was to pursue teaching as a career. However, the prophetic words of Graber’s school teacher hinted at a different future. This memoir begins with those early years when he taught at the Navajo reservation in Arizona. On several occasions as a school teacher, he had to act as both health provider and ambulance. The needless loss of an Indian baby’s life was due to having no doctor nearby. The mark left by this experience likely influenced his decision to change his life plans and accept the call to become a physician.

Formal life as a physician began with the Hippocratic Oath. Hands-on practice would teach him how to apply that oath in his career. The remainder of this memoir documents his years as an influential physician. It acknowledges the effect this had on his family—children missing their parent’s attention and time; his spouse taking on the role of both parents. And it honors those who helped him fulfill his call.

The author writes passionately, making the case that a “formal” call is necessary to maintain the commitment and dedication necessary for years of intense study, training, work, and volunteer activities demanded of physicians. Additionally, his book serves the role of mentor to any reader lacking support from a medical professional. Graber wisely includes support for his premise through the testimonies of several other doctors, including his eldest son Rodney’s call. His early experience as a school teacher in organizing facts and details is evident in the narrative and enhances the quality of this memoir written after his 50-plus years of service. Graber’s favorite analogy defining his call to medicine is found in the closing verse from a Robert Frost poem: two roads diverged, and he “took the one less traveled.”

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