Biographical, Historical, Fiction

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At the start of the 20th century Harvard University was the finest medical school in the world. Students from all over the U.S. and other parts of the world applied for admission to the school. First they had to worry about being accepted in the under-graduate program. After they received the Bachelor degree then they had to worry about being accepted into medical school.

The new term would start in September and the students that were accepted were starting to arrive in Cambridge. The new first year students were excited, nervous, and frightened. For many of the students this was the first time they had been separated from their families and they were uncertain how they should act and what they should do.

The students arrived in groups of two or more but the majority of the young men arrived alone. There was no one they knew or anyone they had as friends. These were the ones that were frightened.

The recent arrivals included a young man from South Dakota named Luke Huffman. There was another young man from Omaha, Nebraska named Mark Dailey. One of the recent arrivals was a young man all the way from New Zealand named Matthew Peters. Another young man was from Argentina and his name was John Capelli.

The dormitory where they were assigned had four young men to a suite of rooms. The young men started talking while waiting and realized that they really liked each other and felt that they would get along very well, especially since they all had the same goal of going to medical school. They asked the manager of the dorm if they could share the same rooms and it was readily arranged. Their request made the manager’s job much easier.

While settling into the rooms they came to a revelation which caused much laughter and really broke the ice. The names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were well known. They felt that their being together must have been fore-ordained. The young men proceeded to call themselves the Disciples. The rest of the students in the dormitory thought it funny and also called them the Disciples.

What brought them together was a mystery but each felt a kinship with the others. Each of them was from a family that had immigrated to a new country and been very successful. Each of them had a sincere desire to help people by going into medicine. Each of the young men was well mannered and charming and cared a great deal for people. The chemistry within the group was as if something magical had happened.

Luke was from South Dakota. His grandfather had moved to the U.S. from Germany and was now one of the most successful farmers in the state. He was the youngest son of a successful lawyer and the first governor of the state. He still carried the genes of his grandmother who was of the Sioux Indian tribe. He was strikingly handsome with coal black hair, dark eyes, and tawny skin. The young ladies of Boston would find him very soon.

Mark was from Omaha and from a family of very successful merchants. They were, in fact, owners of the largest mercantile business between Chicago and San Francisco. His grandfather had moved to the U.S. from England. The family had started at the bottom but hard work and intelligence had paid off. His Father managed and owned the largest and most successful store in Omaha.

Matthew Peters was from Wellington. His grandfather had moved to New Zealand from England to start a sheep station. His Mother’s family owned the largest, and most successful, sheep station in New Zealand. His father’s family owned the largest trading company in New Zealand. His interest in medicine was fostered from injuries that his father suffered while a General in the New Zealand army.

John Capelli was from Argentina. His father had moved to Argentina from Italy as he was unable find work in Italy and the opportunities were great as Argentina was emerging as an economic power. He was the youngest son of Angelo Capelli who was the owner of the largest restaurant chain in South America. There was a shortage of good doctors in Argentina and John wanted to help his fellow man.

Since all of the men had the same goal they all had the same classes. This proved to be very beneficial as they could help each other. While John spoke good English there were many things he didn’t understand. He was proficient in Spanish and Italian and had diligently studied English but many of the idioms and slang that Americans used would not have been taught. The same was true for Matthew. In New Zealand they spoke the King’s English and the American version was causing difficulties. They all helped each other to be certain that they succeeded. If someone was strong in a discipline then he would help the others to understand and be successful. By working together as a team, all of the men were near the top of their class. They all completed their undergraduate work in the top 5% of the Harvard graduating class.

Now they had to wait and see if they would be accepted into the Harvard Medical School. With the grades they had achieved they shouldn’t have worried but you never could be certain. Finally the day arrived and each got a letter from the school saying they had been accepted. They had to move out of the undergraduate dormitory. They did not want to split up so they rented a large apartment in Cambridge. The apartment had four bedrooms and the men felt fortunate to find such an ideal place to live.

Medical school started and they continued to act as a team to be certain that each of them would do as well as possible. Each of the men chose a specialty. Matthew chose orthopedics as that was the help that his father needed. There also was a great shortage of orthopedic doctors in New Zealand.

John chose to concentrate on general practice or family practice so that he would be able to help the most people in Buenos Aires.

Luke chose pediatrics. The Indian children got very poor health care and he wanted to be able to help children. He loved all children but was very nurturing to the Indian children.

Mark chose to be a surgeon. That is the only kind of medicine he ever wanted to practice. There was a severe shortage of surgeons in Omaha and the surrounding area.

So that was settled and each had classes that the others didn’t have but they were still a team and all graduated from Harvard Medical School with high marks.

They now had to spend the time as interns and residents. They all felt that New York would be the best place as it was the largest city in the country and had the most hospitals. As luck would have it, they were all accepted to intern at the same hospital. They found a large apartment near the hospital and went to work. Being an intern was long hours, tedious work, and difficult but they all survived and went on to be residents. This time they had to split up as a hospital only needed so many residents but they kept the apartment and continued to support each other.

Finally the day arrived when they finished their residency and decisions had to be made. None of the young men wanted to part. They had become a family but they also realized that even in a family people have to be on their own. They each went their separate ways with a vow that they would keep in touch. They also knew that Argentina and New Zealand were a long distance and they would probably never see each other again. Luke and Mark would not be far apart and would probably be able to see each other again. In fact, Mark was very much in love with one of Luke’s sisters and vowed that they would marry.

After eight years of being together night and day, separating was a tearful situation. But they had completed the goals they had set and each of them knew that:

Life was good.

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