I was fortunate this past May, to share lunch with Psychiatrist and Author Peter Rabins, MD who was in town, invited to speak about Alzheimer’s Disease on behalf of Arden Court Alzheimer’s Assisted Living facility. His book, The 36 Hour Day was first published in 1981 and in fact, he was someone who inspired me to write about my experiences as a Geriatrician.
Dr. Rabins entered the empty auditorium 1 hour prior to the time of his presentation. I noted that he was comfortably dressed with a short sleeve shirt, tie, casual slacks, and he was carrying his own nap sack. Here was one of my role models and idols, entering the facility like a very humble man.
His book, The 36 Hour Day, is considered standard reading for anyone who who provides care to or has a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. As I was dining with him for lunch, I was like a child interacting with his favorite athlete or movie star. I had loads of questions to ask both from the clinical standpoint and as a fellow author.
After telling him a little bit about myself and offering him a signed copy of my book, I began my set of inquiries. I learned that he collaborated with his associate Nancy Mace who is now retired. The book is in its 5th revision and sold over 3 million copies. Dr. Rabins is semi-retired, remaining on faculty at Johns Hopkins, working 5 months of the year. He still enjoys working with patients and traveling while giving lectures, like the one he was providing this day.
I don’t think he could have missed the enthusiasm I have for my patients and my book, and he provided me with a wonderful insight, by stated, “when you treat your patients you are treating one at a time, but when you can write and speak publicly you are helping many.” A clear approach to reach and help many people with the wisdom I have gained.
It was a simple, yet a powerful comment; an unexpected gem that I reflected upon and will certainly consider as I focus on future writings.
I returned to work inspired and looking forward to sharing my experience with my readers.
Who are your idols or role models?
Tell me about the experiences you had if you ever met them.
To a happy, healthy and long life,David Bernstein, MD
Author ~ Physician ~ Public Speaker