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Nathan Clendenin wrote this...
Remember the guy who was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer? You know, Leonardo DaVinci? He's the archetype for the Renaissance man - the person who does it all. When I finished interviewing Dr. Robert Berger for this month's installment of "Real Doctors, Real People," I knew I had met one.
Besides being the grandfather of electronic medical records at UNC, seeing patients and teaching in Rheumatology and Immunology, and teaching students in the Pharmacy School, there's another whole side of Dr. Berger outside the hospital that's equally varied and accomplished.
Whether he's composing music on his grand piano or on a synthesizer in his office, sailing his boat with his wife up near Seattle, or Vancouver, or scuba diving with his sons, Dr. Berger's zest for life is apparent. It seems that what drives him is the challenge of putting his mind to the test to solve a problem, diagnose a disease, chart a course or play a piece he's never been able to master.
As great as all these things Dr. Berger has done with his life, don't think that he's been without some real challenges to overcome. He suffers from chronic musculoskeletal pain (which his ironic, since that's his speciality) and his oldest son, who also works at UNC Hospitals, was born with spina bifida. It was really neat to hear how they built their house with special floors to absorb the impact of his son's frequent falls growing up, and to hear how their younger son recently helped outfit a house for him to live in by himself.
You may not be able to spend a day with Dr. Berger, as I did, but I hope that the few minutes spent watching this month's installment will leave you as impressed as I am. Enjoy!