A powerful personal statement kicks off this Chapbook companion to Your Good Life Weekly.
Born in 1935 in a middle-class family in Dayton, Ohio, I was second oldest of eight children. My father was disabled when I was twelve years old. My fourteen-year older brother, John, and I took over the family appliance repair business, with the help of our grandfather Joseph, who had a strong influence on my early years.
During my senior year in high school, I had no plans for college due to lack of money and working to help support our family. I saw an ad for a four-year NROTC scholarship. The Navy required good grades, a written exam, and physical fitness. I chose Notre Dame in 1953. As a strong Catholic, Notre Dame was a dream for me. There I deepened my faith in God, learned to study and grew up. While I was away at college, my brother John took over the family business. Summers in college were spent taking Navy cruises to Europe plus flight training and amphibious warfare exposure. My major was physics, but it was too narrow for my interest.
After my sophomore year, I visited my Uncle Jerry, a medical student at St. Louis University. He showed me the cadaver lab and when I did not freak out, he encouraged me to switch my studies to pre-med. This was a major turning point in my career. At school it was an honor to work closely with the president of Notre Dame, Father Ted Hesburgh.
He was my mentor and an inspiration to me. While attending my senior year Orientation Weekend, I met the love of my life on a blind date. Sharon was a freshman at nearby St. Mary’s College. As Student Body President, I had many extracurricular activities combined with a demanding pre-med course. I still found time to court Sharon, my future wife of sixty years. We dated steady my entire senior year and on Valentine’s Day I gave Sharon a Notre Dame miniature ring, so we were committed to each other.
Graduation weekend was bittersweet. I received my BS in pre-med and was commissioned in the Navy. I left for three years active duty while Sharon finished college. I was assigned as damage control officer on the USS Camberra, a guided missile cruiser. Luckily, I was never faced with any ship’s fires or battle damage. Our ship visited Turkey and many European ports, and on January 1, 1959 we visited Guantanamo Bay Cuba on the day Fidel Castro became President to the delight of Cuban workers. Little did they know what was coming.
I attended a Navy school and was assigned new duties on the ship: atomic, biological, and chemical warfare officer. After two years at sea, I was assigned to the Maine Maritime Academy to teach Naval history. I immediately called Sharon to set our wedding date. We were married at Notre Dame in the original log cabin, and a week later moved to Castine, Maine. This was an idyllic seacoast town of 500 souls. Our first son, Patrick, was born nine months after our wedding.
I started Indiana University School of Medicine, and four years later we had three children. I was able to work part time so my wife could be a full-time mom. We moved to UCLA for internal medicine internship and moved back to Indiana University for more internal medicine training. At Wishard Hospital the intern on my service was drafted. I applied for his spot in the dermatology residency. This was the start of a fifty-year fulfilling career in dermatology in East Indianapolis.
Dermatology includes diagnostic challenges as well as surgery. My philosophy of practice is to provide the best medical care to my patients at a reasonable cost. Today, I teach residents and students in my office and at I.U. Medical School and have felt honored when several of them chose to become dermatologists. Teaching has kept me enthused about medicine. I learn as much from students as they learn from me.
All my office employees have become long term associates. My third set of office staff have worked with me about fifteen years and are like family. I am still practicing medicine (until I get it right) and enjoy treating many long-time patients. In 2001 I was honored to receive The Doctor of the Year award given by Indiana Business Journal. In 2010 I won the Hackney Dash Norins award as top dermatologist in Indiana and in 2017 was honored by the American Academy of Dermatology as volunteer of the year for work in Honduras
A few pearls to my readers: Have a total body skin exam annually after age fifty to rule out skin cancer and melanoma, avoid sunburns and tanning beds, use sunscreen SPF 50 in the sun, and take good care of your largest organ, your skin.
Contributed by: Patrick C. Logan
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