Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I first was aware of Jim during residency when he was approaching the insurance reps during our Kessler resident lunch hour. I heard him say that he lives in the same town as me and in no time we became study partners. He had become habituated to studying at Starbucks so I honored his request the first time. He was determined to read the Braddom textbook from cover to cover within his first year. He was working on understanding/memorizing the anatomy of the limbs. I was studying an article by Asa Wilbourne on radiculopathy. In order to understand something I have to be able to teach it, and he was soaking up every bit of what I was telling him. I think he was sold on the idea of studying with me and therefore respected my wishes to try studying at my parents house.

What really sealed the deal for our studying there, were the endless bountiful meals offered by my parents. Even they were impressed with the frequency and amplitude of portions ingested by Jim with a huge grin on his face. My parents used to love feeding him. It seemed to all of us that his gut was an inexhaustible infinite receptacle of food. His classmate Gary, was known to be a competitive eater in his pre-medical life. It was widely accepted that everyone should get their food from the buffet table before Gary and Jim had a chance to deplete the resources. (I suppose he had to eat like a champ in order to do the training of a champ.)

Whatever we studied that first day in my basement, required that I printed out my notes. Jim found this to be a bit excessive and he did not hesitate to tell me so. I showed him the process that I went through and he was doubly sure that this was not something he was going to explore. To him, it just did not seem to justify the time spent. The next day he showed me what he had studied in a handout format. He had completely co-opted my style and was taking it to the next step. He went handout crazy after that and served as the source of positive competitive spirit for me.