An Easter Story

By | April 17, 2022 | 0 Comments

I began the third year of medical school in the emergency department of the old San Francisco General Hospital. One day an ambulance brought in a young boy, he looked about 10, who had been hit by a car and was in a coma. I was given the job of shaving his head in preparation for neurosurgery to relieve the pressure on his brain.

We had no electric clippers, so I used a razor blade clamped in a hemostat. Our full-time, 24/7 Catholic chaplain, Father Feder, came to administer Last Rites, correctly called Anointing of the Sick. As I clumsily shaved away, I reached down when the priest reached up, and I got a drop of the holy oil on my right hand.

Officially, I joined the medical profession when I took the Hippocratic Oath at graduation. But in retrospect, I believe I joined it when the oil touched my hand. Often the most significant things in our lives happen without our recognizing them at the time.

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