>October 31 2001

>”I thank God every day for making me a Yankee.” – Joe DiMaggio

So reads a giant bronze plaque on the outer facade of Yankee Stadium. I am sure that must also be the heartfelt sentiment of one Derek Jeter. I denied myself of the first two World Series games to study for our last Anatomy exam but I have savored every pitch of Games Three and Four, and what games they were! One of my all-time favorites, Roger Clemens, coming up with a huge effort in game three with the Yankees’ backs to the wall. Some of my most unforgettable baseball memories are of the Rocket and he added another one Tuesday night.

And then Game Four. Are you kidding me? This was one of the greatest World Series games ever. Tino Martinez with a two-run job with two out in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. And then, the New Pride of the Yankees, Derek Jeter wins it in the tenth inning, with only his second hit of the series, a blast down the right field line to the part of the park built for the Babe himself. There were his Mom and Dad cheering him from the stands. This guy calls his manager, “Mr. Torre.” How can anyone not like Derek Jeter? The cut-off play he made in Game Three of the Divisional Series against Oakland to save the game was unreal. Then he makes a spectacular play in Game Five of that series diving into the stands to catch a foul pop. With an aching back from that play he goes just 2 for his next 23 until the game-winning homer against the Diamondbacks. Watching Derek Jeter play baseball is as good as it gets.

I am not pulling for the Yankees because of the terrorist angle. I am not even really for them because I love Clemens, Jeter, and O’Neill. I am for the Yankees because they represent an absolute. Their most current dynasty gives me comfort by demonstrating that there are things in this world you can count on. Don’t get me wrong, if my Reds were going against them, I would be cursing the Bronx Bombers, but with no attachment at all to the Diamondbacks, I find myself in hopeless admiration for what these Yankees have done since 1996. Derek Jeter played his first full season winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1996. He is now playing in his fifth World Series in six years and is two games away from winning ALL of them. Only a fool would bet against him.

Okay, back to medical school topics! I ate lunch today, along with about 15 other first year students with Dr. Wallace Conerly, the vice chancellor of health affairs at the University. He spends one day a week eating with students to pass along information and get feedback. He gave us some history of the University and told us about some of the research going on. The school’s research budget this year is $64 million. Some of the projects are super high-tech and fascinating. NASA has contracted the school to develop imaging systems for real-time surgical consultation. Conerly told us that the mindset of NASA is that they ARE going to Mars with manned ships. This will involve YEARS of space travel for the round trip and inevitably medical problems will come up that require data feeds from medical personnel on Earth. UMC is a leader in this technology and currently has been testing systems where surgeons here digitally monitor micro surgeries being performed in Japan. Also research is being done at UMC on cellular functioning in zero-gravity environments. Of course these are the fringe things. Most of the dollars go toward cardiovascular disease research with cancer research following that.

Only one more month of Gross Anatomy! I should get my pelvis and lower limb exam score back tomorrow, so check in for the gory details!

About Marcus Lee

Child Neurologist
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