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I get captivated by medicine


Getting money for college
Sherwin Nuland Surgeon
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Well, I went through junior high school doing a lot of writing. I went to a high school in New York City called the Bronx High School of Science, which was one of the two, at that time, finest academic schools in New York City. The other was Stuyvesant High School. There was another called Brooklyn Tech that was pretty good, too. And I went through Science High, I graduated in the Honors Society, and it's time to go to college and… there's no money.

I didn't want to go to the College of the City of New York, because I really felt that by 1947, when I was applying to high school, its great, glorious days of the late 20s, early 30s, and right up through World War II, were over, through most of World War II. NYU [New York University] had a campus, it was actually the original liberal arts college of NYU. They had moved it up to the Bronx on this huge, gorgeous campus of its own. And so that was the only school I applied to. And it turned out that a lot of the people in my High School of Science class were very much in the same boat that I was: they had to go to college, if at all, in New York City, so they could live at home. And so there we were, in a pretty rarefied atmosphere of a lot of very, very bright kids. I got through college on a New York State scholarship. They had a competitive examination and I took that, and that gave me $350 a year, the tuition was $750 a year and the 92nd Street Y gave me a scholarship for $400. So that paid for it all.

Sherwin Nuland (1930-2014) was an American surgeon and author who taught bioethics, the history of medicine, and medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. He wrote the book How We Die which made The New York Times bestseller list and won the National Book Award. He also wrote about his own painful coming of age as a son of immigrants in Lost in America: A Journey with My Father. He used to write for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time, and the New York Review of Books.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: The Bronx High School of Science, Tag Young Scholars School, Artists Society, New York, New York University

Duration: 2 minutes, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2011

Date story went live: 13 September 2011