As we explore the concept of lifelong wellness in this issue of Helix, we draw inspiration from a recent mini-reunion — held in virtual fashion, as these things often had to be during the time of COVID-19 — of the Chicago Medical School’s Class of 1956.
Sixty-five years after they graduated, a few proud alums swapped stories about their careers in medical fields from oncology to psychiatry, shared updates on their families and retirement endeavors, and bonded over the medical procedures and lifestyle choices that helped them achieve 90 years of age.
“So here we are, and we’re very happy,” said Howard N. Rose, MD, who practiced ophthalmology in Florida, as he joined in on Zoom beside his wife. “And we’re stressing good health, because health is wealth, and we’re lucky to be where we are.”
This observation prompted Jesse Gochman, MD, to share a milestone: “Yesterday, I celebrated the 25th anniversary of having had a triple bypass.” He pointed out to Dr. Rose that an ophthalmological exam first hinted at his heart disease.
Along with their faith in medicine, the alums shared the fitness choices that have sustained them. For example, Paul J. Kiell, MD, said he got into marathon running and swimming when he practiced psychiatry.
Throughout their Zoom session, which stretched past the appointed hourlong limit, the general sense was that future reunions were the expectation.
“We’re lucky to be where we are in our age group of nonagenarians,” Dr. Rose said, revealing that he aspires to be featured on NBC’s “Today” show homage to centenarians. “I’m pushing for the Smucker’s show.”
Hearing this, Dr. Gochman called for “a party at Howard Rose’s house for his 100th birthday,” one of many comments that produced laughter during the conversation.
The online gathering highlighted several pillars of lifestyle medicine, but perhaps none more so than the importance of the social connections that contribute to overall health. We spotlight these tenets of wellness — including physical activity, nutrition and stress management — to illustrate the objectives and importance of RFU’s Lifestyle Medicine Program.
We hope the stories inspire you to keep running after your goals for at least as long as the Class of 1956, whose graduates have set the course.
Dan Moran is the communications director with RFU’s Division of Marketing and Brand Management.