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Steven's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Atlanta Team

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Potomac, MD

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 4

  • ON DVD:

STEVEN ROSENBERG

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.”

INTERESTS:

Medicine Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Determination Family Focus Goals Inspiration Regrets Values Transitions Choices Education Failure Instincts Success Passion Chance Exploration

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

alleviate suffering, commitment, decisions, doctors, doing something important, education, experiments, happiness, helping others, holocaust, immigrated, immigration, inner peace, jewish, medicine, Poland, research, responsibilities, scientists, World War II

BIOGRAPHY:

  • His parents were born in Poland but immigrated to America because of anti-Semitic persecution.
  • When he was five or six years old, his family started receiving postcards notifying them of family members who'd died in concentration camps.
  • He couldn't believe that people could perpetuate human suffering in such an extreme way.
  • Decided that he wanted to be on the other side of that fence: he wanted to do everything he could to alleviate human suffering.
  • When he first started working with cancer patients, he recognized a Holocaust-like effect; these innocent people were suffering for no good reason.
  • His goal is to cure cancer and everyone that has it; says it's unlikely he'll achieve that goal, but he can certainly put a dent in it.
  • When he lies awake at night, he doesn't think about his success; he thinks, "What else can I be doing for my patients?"
  • Calls his job a "roller coaster of joy and great sadness," but he never has to question if his work is important-he knows it is.

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