changing the life of a child, and knowing that child can often go on to live the rest of their lives essentially normal. It is deeply gratifying to watch a child’s self-image and confidence dramatically increase after treatment. A child will come in for an evaluation wearing dark clothing, self-conscious and avoiding eye contact. After treatment, that same child will return standing taller, smiling, brimming with confidence. More than one mother has joked after I perform scoliosis surgery for their teen, “What did you do to my child - she behaves like a normal teenager now and doesn’t listen to me?”.taking care of one child and one family at a time. In addition, training other surgeons is quite rewarding. I’ve written or edited three major textbooks, published over 80 papers, and given over 500 lectures. In the hospital, I’m able to change the life of one child at a time. But when I teach other surgeons, I can help improve the lives of thousands of children. I tell doctors I train “we are allowed a privileged entrance into a family’s world." Very few professions allow this kind of connection with a family. And because we are granted this unique opportunity, we have the responsibility to do everything we can for the family and child. This isn’t a job – this is a calling.Surgery is fun for me. It is an opportunity to be creative and fix things. In a way, it is a meditative activity – a time when I am allowed to put my entire attention in one place, without anyone else requesting anything of me. If I’m on a week-long lecture tour, I find myself itching to get back to do surgery.