In Search of The Right Life

I am in Brooklyn walking through an old, beautifully designed bank with my two sons, Jeremy and Sam. It is the kind of bank that is architecturally so interesting with columns, mosaics, gilded ceilings and the character of the early 1900s. Nothing like the bland, generic ones now found on every corner in every suburban town. One can imagine the poor immigrant in the early 1900s bringing his hard earned money to this pantheon of wealth. He would feel good and feel safe that an institution as majestic as this was watching his money. In some way it gave him a connection with the wealth and with the dreams and promise that America stood for then. They were in search of the “right life.”

Why was I in this particular bank in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn with my two sons on a Sunday afternoon? Certainly not to make a
monetary deposit. The bank is not even a functioning bank; it hosts a flea market every Saturday and Sunday. My older son lives in Brooklyn and he wanted to show us the beauty of the bank. At flea markets people try to sell you things they don’t need or want. They hope you think you need or want them. They are not trying to sell you the right life.

I didn’t enter the flea market with the intent of searching for the right life. In fact, I don’t even like flea markets—the premise depresses me. We meandered. We looked at used clothes, old maps, old keys, candles, photos of unknown people and a lot of accumulated detritus of society. One
never knows when the opportunity to search for the right life will suddenly appear, but out of the corner of my eye it revealed itself. There, at some stand, were multiple piles of old Life magazines from the ’60s and ’70s—the era which encompasses my formative years. That magazine inspired me to be a vascular surgeon. Right then and there, my sons and I began to search for the right Life magazine. They didn’t understand the significance, at first.

I told them to look for a particular magazine from somewhere between 1964 and 1965. This issue-had on its cover a man-made prosthetic ball-in-cage heart valve. This issue-was about prosthetic body parts and the surgeons that put them in: heart valves, blood vessels, hips, knees, etc. There were beautiful pictures of all these, as only Life could produce. So began my search for the right Life magazine. That magazine started me on the right life. I wanted to be thosesurgeons. I wanted to put man-made things into people. It seemed like fun.

Many of us have ideas and designs to help others in their pursuit of the right life. At VEIN we try to do this for our readers in their chosen profession as vein specialists. This is not always an easy exercise. What may have seemed like the right professional life five years ago when VEIN started, may not even be an option for 2013 or beyond. The landscape of our chosen profession constantly changes, just as it does in all professions. New insurance issues, changing government requirements, constant educational challenges, new and improved products, techniques, marketing strategies, controversies over training and who should practice vein care, etc.—we are all cognizant of the challenges with each issue. We want to help you find the right life.

This issue-addresses, among other things, online, offline and social media marketing strategies, insight into the new vein procedure Venaseal by Sapheon, and an interview with exiting President of the American Venous Forum, Rob McLafferty – no doubt about his right life.

We also need our readers’ voices to be heard. We encourage letters to the editor. We have and will continue to discuss controversial topics: Who should treat vein disease? Who should we teach about vein disease? Credentialing, core content issues, etc. Not everyone has the same idea of the right life. Feel free to send your letters to [email protected].

As Jeremy, Sam and I went through all those Life magazines, two things became clear: First, we were not going to find the right Life magazine that had the prosthetic heart valve on the cover in those piles, and second, my sons began to understand that the pursuit of the right life is not always easy and that it takes work. Both of them being Internet savvy assured me that they will search websites that might lead them to the right Life magazine issue-I desired. And in some small way I hope the favor they will do for me will help give them the desire and understanding to always pursue their right life, even though it may not always be easily found. They may find the right Life magazine for me on the Internet, but they also understand that the right life is best found from within yourself.

And finally, if anyone out there knows where to find the Life magazine issue-I so desperately want, please let me know.

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