Opinion: Lullaby thoughts from a doctor dad on what the next 99 years of medical advances might bring for his son

It's hard to imagine what medical advances will take place during the next 99 years. As Dr. Seuss said, "Oh, the places you'll go."

For the past few years, I’ve been one of the caretakers of my 99-year-old father. A year ago, my wife and I joyfully added another person to our caretaking roles, our son Benjamin. As I tucked him in the other night, I started musing on the history and future of medicine. It turned into this letter.

Dear Benjamin,

A few weeks ago you turned one year old and Grandpa turned 99. It amazes me to imagine what medicine will have to offer you if you should live to age 99.

When Grandpa was your age, the world was in the midst of the so-called. Sir William Osler, the , had just died. And the world was still a decade from the , the first antibiotic.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT3 min readScience
Lasker Award Recipient Had Retracted Some Of His Work — a Sign Of Strength, Not Sloppiness
While retractions are usually seen as black marks on a career, a signal of sloppy or dishonest research, sometimes the opposite is true.
STAT3 min readSociety
FDA And EMA Are Now Probing Carcinogen In Zantac And Other Heartburn Meds
At issue is NDMA, an organic chemical that was once used to make rocket fuel and is an unintended by-product of certain chemical reactions.
STAT4 min readPolitics
Purdue Pharma Filed For Bankruptcy. What Does It Mean For Lawsuits Against The Opioid Manufacturer?
Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy. What does it mean for lawsuits against the opioid manufacturer?