Steven's Open Road


Chief of Surgery
National Cancer Institute

“No matter what you do, you will have an opportunity to impact on other people's lives, just by who you are and the way you act.”




Determination Family Focus Goals Inspiration Regrets Values Transitions Choices


alleviate suffering, doing something important, experiments, happiness, helping others, holocaust, immigrated, immigration, inner peace, jewish, Poland, World War II


As a child in the 1940s, Steven grew up surrounded by reminders of the Holocaust. His parents had fled Nazi persecution in Poland and found refuge in the United States. Many of his relatives, however, had been unable to escape. Confirming his parents' worst fears, postcards arrived after the war informing the Rosenbergs their loved ones had perished in concentration camps. The news deeply affected six-year-old Steven, who decided then that he wanted to help people and alleviate their suffering by becoming a doctor. Now Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute, he devotes himself to discovering a cure for cancer. He has the satisfaction of knowing he's doing important work, yet he feels as though he has never done enough. He rides a rollercoaster of joy and great sadness, saving lives but at the same time realizing there are all always more patients to treat. Speaking from his own experience, Steven emphasizes the value of finding inner peace and helping others, a combination that has worked for him.

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