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Good Morning Doctor!

Forward 1995

I never met Dr. Rohlf. By the time I came along the torch had passed to a new patriarch, my grandfather Herbert Rathe. I do remember "Aunt" Lottie, Dr Rohlf's widow, as a very old and revered member of our family. I continue to marvel at the intensity and longevity of relationships that began with a minor injury almost 100 years ago. Though I never met him, I came to know Dr. Rohlf through family tales when I was a child, through the inspiration he gave the the physicians in my family, and finally through this book.

This book is a true heirloom--a valued possession passed down in our family through succeeding generations. Its value is threefold. First there is the sentimental value of the book itself. My copy belonged to my grandfather and was given to me after he passed away. Second, it chronicles life and times very different from the present day. As a historical work, it furnishes important perspective on our current state of affairs. Finally and most importantly, this book reveals the essential compassion and humanism required of a "good" doctor. In the words of W. H. Auden:

A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings, each of them unique, cannot be a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist.... This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete and desire their good before his own.

I dedicate this new edition of "Good Morning Doctor!" to my grandparents, through whom I came to share Dr. Rohlf's legacy.

Richard Rathe, MD
October 1995

  Version: World Wide Web Edition Copyright 1995 by Richard Rathe
  Created: October 1, 1995   Modified: July 5, 1999

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