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Vital Signs:
Clinical Observation

In this section, we highlight the human side of clinical academic medicine, putting a few questions to a physician at DMS-DHMC.


Jocelyn Chertoff, M.D.
Associate Professor of Radiology and of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Chertoff joined the faculty in 1991 and is the director of gastrointestinal radiology at DHMC. Her clinical interests include cross-sectional imaging, fluoroscopy, and abdominal imaging.

If you weren't a physician, what would you like to be?
Every time I try to answer this question, I come up with reasons why nothing else really suits me as well. I might like to be a college professor in English or sociology, or some kind of an artist if I had the talent.

What's the last book you read?
I'm reading two books right now: Dude, Where's My Country by Michael Moore and The Hunted by Elmore Leonard. They are very different, but I'm enjoying both. The Moore book is shocking, with very specific factual content that is infuriating, but written in a light enough tone that it remains entertaining. The Leonard book is just fun. I've read a lot of his books and they are a great escape. I often read a few books at the same time, almost always fiction. I'm in a book group, too. The last book we read was Daniel Deronda. The group gives me a reason to read classic literature and then a chance to discuss it with people I really like.

What music is in your CD player?
Usually whatever my 16-year-old puts there! I tend to listen to music from my past, mostly rock 'n' roll. I like the Beatles, Elvis Costello, reggae, and jazz. I often like the strange music my kids play for me, though I have no idea what it is!

What's the last movie you saw?
I just saw Calendar Girls. My 13-year-old thought that it was boring, but I liked it a lot. It was funny, and the characters seemed like real people-facing real issues with humor and doing the best they could.

If you could travel someplace you've never been before, where would it be and why?
I'd like to go to Italy because I've heard it's beautiful and the people are very nice, and I'd like to go to the Galapagos to see the diversity of animals and the vegetation.

What's your favorite nonwork activity?
Spending time with my family.

What are the greatest frustration and the greatest joy in your work?
The greatest frustration I have is that 24 hours aren't enough in a day. My greatest joy is seeing the residents succeed, especially the ones who have had some obstacles along the way.

Can you tell us something about yourself that would surprise most people who know you?
Maybe that I'm usually taking a class of some kind. Right now I'm working toward a master's degree in the CECS [Dartmouth's Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences] program, and I like to take classes in language and watercolors.

What famous person-living or dead-would you like to spend a day with and why?
John Lennon, because of his creativity and sense of humor.

What do family and colleagues give you a hard time about?
The clutter in my office.

Who was your medical or scientific mentor?
It seems to me that many people help and inspire you throughout your career and your life, in different aspects of what you do. Among them was the head of the math department in my high school . . . but I hate to list any, knowing I'm not including many people who have helped me.

If you would like to offer any feedback about this article, we would welcome getting your comments at DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

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