Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Next Stop: Stanford University

In 1955, Albert Einstein was quoted that one should "learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Like Einstein, I have always believed in lifelong learning and satisfying my ever curious mind.
You may think that at the age of 55, with a medical school education, surgical training, a business degree, and a career that included founding, building, and eventually retiring from HealthDrive, a national health care company serving the extended care industry, my learning days and quest for more knowledge might be done. You might also think that after the shutdown of MDPrevent, (see my other post on what happened), my full throttle, but unsuccessful foray into life extension and disease prevention by lifestyle modification, my interests in longevity and preventive medicine would have waned. If you thought so, you would be incorrect on both accounts. That's because I believe if you don't succeed at first, try again.
About two months ago, I learned about a new program starting up at Stanford University called the Distinguished Careers Institute or DCI. The DCI, the brainchild of Philip Pizzo, MD, the former dean of Stanford’s Medical School, offers people who have had successful careers, but are eager to discover what comes next, an opportunity to expand their minds at Stanford by pursuing a scholarly pathway under the guidance of faculty mentors and advisers. When I read about the program in a press release, which I accessed through my daily Google alert on the keyword ‘longevity,’ the idea so excited me that I suspect I was the first person to apply online.
I am excited to announce that my application was accepted and I received an invitation to join the inaugural group (20 individuals) of Fellows to start the program in January 2015. Yesterday, I made the decision to accept the invitation after consulting with a number of professors at the Stanford Center for Longevity and the Stanford Prevention Research Center, including Doctors Pizzo and Kathy Gillam, the executive director of the DCI program, who all impressed me with their knowledge, friendliness, and willingness to help me identify my next career. Although I have always believed that success is the byproduct of one’s own hard work (and good luck), I have also learned the value of getting help from others. 
As a believer in making the most of one’s life until you can’t do no more and in doing well by doing good, I can’t believe there can be a better place for me than Stanford as the next stop on my life journey. Wish me luck.

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