Matters both very modern (the greening of health care) and timeless (the mentors who make medical students into doctors) caused our readers to pick up their pens over the last few months. Well, figuratively speaking. A couple of the letters here, including the first one below, were actually penned on paper and arrived by post. But the vast majority of our mail nowadays, not surprisingly, comes in electronically. Yet however you write us, we appreciate your insights and observations.
As a trustee of the New London Hospital—a member of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance—I have become an avid reader of Dartmouth Medicine.
It is a remarkably good general-readership publication and consistently hits the topics and issues that make a difference in medical advances. As such, it's a great help to laymen such as myself who struggle to stay current with local, regional, and national health issues.
Nice work. Keep it up. You have readers out here!
New London, N.H.
Putting green in perspective
Sharon Tregaskis's cover article on green hospitals in your Summer issue was a well-written and thorough treatment of a complicated topic.
From my perspective, as a national green and healthy building consultant, I amheartened to see what an incredible job Dartmouth is doing for their staff and patients. It is truly exemplary work that shows a real commitment to your mission and values.
The rest of the issue was also very interesting—you are to be commended on a job well done.
Jan D. Stensland
Brewster Martin, an icon of medical care in Chelsea, Vt., recently passed away. Brewster had no formal ties to DMS or DHMC, yet he was one of the most formative figures in my medical education, key to my sense of what it means to be a physician.
In the fall of 1990, as a first-year medical student, I was assigned to Brewster as my community physician mentor; I was to spend an afternoon every few weeks with him, to see what doctors really did. I still remember my first drive from Hanover to Chelsea. Traveling from the Upper Valley to the shire town of Chelsea seemed more than just a matter of miles; there was a different perspective and sense of time in this lovely valley.
With my white coat and new stethoscope, I took on my new role in Brewster's office—eager observer. I did my first physical exam and read my first EKG and chest x-ray in Chelsea. After a while, I was seeing patients and presenting them to Brewster. I marveled at how much he knew about his patients—all of them. It was if he had heard their whole story already. Eventually, I realized that he knew them so well because he had delivered many of them and seen them grow up around him.
As fall segued into winter and then spring, I continued my forays to Chelsea—drawn as much to Brewster as I was to feeling like a doctor.When it came time to find a summer job, I asked Brewster if he'd take me on for a few months. I felt like a character in a John Irving novel. I secured