Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Dr. C. Everett Koop turns 93 today
Happy birthday, Dr. Koop! C. Everett Koop, MD turns 93 years old today. Surgeon General of the United States under President Reagan from 1982 t0 1989, Koop (pictured circa 1974) was probably the most influential figure to have ever filled that office. I met with Dr. Koop during his open office hours on April 19, 1995 at Dartmouth Medical School's Koop Institute. I found Dr. Koop to be a really nice guy -- definitely more gentle than his stern appearance initially suggests. Since I was applying to medical school at that time, Koop and I talked a bit about our respective experiences with the admissions process. Koop told me that he had been rejected from Columbia Medical School, an institution that he had looked forward to attending since his childhood in Brooklyn. He described the rejection as a "major blow". But Koop got the last laugh. Decades later, he told me, at an event honoring his accomplishments, Koop was introduced to the dean of the Columbia Medical School and said, "See, if you had only accepted me, I would have made something of myself."