Much of what I know of transitions I learned from Dr. Edmond I. Eger II (“Ted”), a father of inhaled anesthetic pharmacology. In his book Autobiography of a Persistent Anesthesiologist, Ted describes several critical transitions in his life. He was a mediocre high school student, uninterested in classes, and mostly focusing on honing his skills in checkers. In the summer after his junior year, he worked at Maling’s Shoes in Chicago and made a startling discovery: women enjoy shopping for shoes much more than buying shoes. This provided an epiphany: he needed to improve his academic trajectory if he didn’t want to be selling shoes the rest of his life! With better grades his senior year, he attended Roosevelt College, a local community college in Chicago. Armed with a year of A grades, he transferred to the University of Illinois, and then to Northwestern for medical school.

Medical school...

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