University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

My Mentor

Leonard A. Mermel, DO

WMJ. 2017;116(4):233.

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A cold winter morning
with snow piled high,
the storm had blown over
leaving a clear blue Wisconsin sky.

Rounding had ended
late the night before,
but I had to go see Dennis
to see what he had in store.

Dennis had said head on over
leaving little time to snore,
manuscripts were waiting
at 6 am I was at his door.

We sat at his living room table
working the 15th draft or so,
his red felt tip marks were everywhere
pulling me along in tow.

When the last draft was written
he had a big grin on his face,
I could only imagine the next one
so I got 8 hours sleep just in case.

I’ll never forget those mornings
watching the Master at his craft,
and when I mentor my students
they wonder why the 15th draft?

I can only look up and smile,
and tell them how fortunate I have been,
having worked with a true genius
opening my mind to the passion that lies within.

—for Dennis Maki, MD

Author Affiliation: Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Medical Director, Department of Epidemiology and Infection Control, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI.
Corresponding Author: Leonard Mermel, DO, Division of Infectious Diseases, Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy St, Providence, RI 02903; phone 401.444.2608, fax 401.444.8154, email
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