A year or so before planning retirement and not being completely sure to stay in California or to go to North Carolina, I attended a vascular conference in New York. There I approached the chief of the vascular department in the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. I told him about my planned retirement and intent to be associated with activity of his department. He looked at me, paused and said: “You know, there are ways to go by doing that.” He meant different ways. Then he gave me his business card and asked for an email.
He obviously thought I was looking for a job. I wasn’t. I just wanted to have access to the fresh source of information from one of the leading universities.
I never called him back.
Then, a few months later, I attended another vascular conference, this time organized by Duke. I asked the chief of vascular surgery from that institution the same question. “No problem,” she said. “Here is the name of my secretary and her telephone number. She will put you on our list, and you can start to attend our Friday morning conferences.”
That’s the way I chose Duke over North Carolina. I suppose it’s like UCLA and USC in California. People are very passionate here and everyone in this area must make a choice.