"I was eleven years old when I decided to be a doctor.  Why the idea even occurred to me is a mystery.  I had never been to a doctor and the only one in the family was a distant great uncle whom I did not meet until I was an adult. For whatever reason, while my friends were choosing to be firemen, pilots, and cowboys, I opted to become a physician.  

"When I was sixteen, I read Not As A Stranger, a popular novel about a young boy who followed a country doctor around and eventually became a family physician.  It may seem strange that one’s life journey could be so influenced by a pot-boiler novel, but somehow it struck a cord within me.  From then on, I was determined to emulate that book’s protagonist.  I had never been inside a hospital until my first day of medical school.  Fortunately for me, medicine was all I had dreamt it to be.

"After my internship, a tour in Vietnam as a medical officer, and my residency, I practiced family medicine for twenty-three years.  At that time, for reasons I will explain later, I felt a need to change paths.  A growing number of primary care physicians were opting to practice totally in their offices and were no longer seeing patients in the hospital.  I had read about a new type of medical specialist called a Hospitalist, who works entirely in the hospital – caring for those office-based doctors’ patients who need hospitalization.  I started the first hospitalist program in Tennessee and directed it for ten years.  I now serve as the volunteer medical director in a community health clinic for the uninsured."

- Dr. Richard Dew

Dr. Richard Dew has also published a widely acclaimed book of poetry, Rachel's Cry. He has written and lectured extensively on coping with greif and loss and is the author of Tunnel of Light.