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Vital Signs

Nation's capital fetes Dartmouth's Dr. Koop on his 90th birthday

The cake, adorned with a bow tie of Koop's own design

Another speech, this one by Dr. Timothy Johnson, medical editor for ABC News.

DMS's dean, Dr. Stephen Spielberg.

Golden: "I frequently muse upon the fact that I've had a very wonderful life," Koop told Dartmouth Medicine recently. "I think I was practicing pediatric surgery right in the middle of the golden era of surgery. And I think that the eight years that I spent as Surgeon General was right on the cusp of the best years in public health. So I've seen the best. I've been part of the best. And that brings a sense of gratification."

When asked what he might have done if he hadn't been a physician, he chuckles. "It's funny—if I hadn't been a physician, I probably would have . . . run a bookstore," he says. "I would have always been associated with finding eager young minds who wanted to learn more, because that is the biggest kick I get out of what I do."

Top, four former surgeons general—Drs. David Satcher, Antonia Novello, Koop, and Richard Carmona. Bottom, the event cochairs making remarks about the guest of honor.

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