The Epigenesis of an Epigeneticist
I’m going to begin this essay in the middle of the story, with a question the Johns Hopkins Medical School Admissions Director asked me in the spring of 1971, and also the question David Schwartz asked all of us in creating this book, namely, “Why did you want to become a physician-scientist?” I was a sophomore at Yale, and I had applied to medical school on a lark, really. The winter before the interview, a college friend and I drove to Baltimore to visit his cousin’s family. We decided to visit the main campus of Hopkins, but got lost and wound up at the medical campus, so we figured we would walk around. I picked up a catalogue, and later read about the “2–5” program, in which you go to medical school for five years after two years of college. I had not really considered medicine seriously but thought—what the heck, why not apply? So when summoned for an interview, still not having thought about it much, I was probably the least worried of the 100 applicants because I wasn’t sure I wanted this anyway.