The Prayer of a Surgeon Emeritus

by Howard H. Steel, MD

Lord, Thou knowest I am growing older.

Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject.

Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone’s affairs.

Keep me from the recital of endless detail.  Give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains.  They are increasing with the years, and my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Make me thoughtful but not nosy, helpful but not bossy.  With my vast store of wisdom and experience, it does seem a pity not to use it all, 

but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

 [Published with permission from Dr. Steel.]

Howard Steel, MD is an icon in Orthopaedics and his inspiration goes beyond Orthopaedics.   Clinically he dedicated his career to children at Temple and the Shriners.  Educationally, he taught thousands of residents, medical students and junior faculty about surgery and life.  In 1970, he founded the Eastern Orthopaedic Association and was the Society President for the first two years.  He has hardly missed a meeting since.  Recognizing there is more to life than medicine, Dr. Steel donated funding (30+ years) for a “non-Orthopaedic” lectureship for many of the regional orthopaedic societies, the AOA and other orthopaedic entities.   Howard is funny, fun-loving and bigger than life.  

Comments about Dr. Steel by Judith F. Baumhauer, MD MPH, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry