Mark is still dead

Last week I wrote about Mark. 

Unfortunately – the bad dream that he had died wasn't a dream – and it's been a surreal week – re-connecting with old friends, and re-living formative memories.

Mark was a passionate, thoughtful person who worked so hard to make things RIGHT – while doing his best to have fun – with a unique serene yet sardonic demeanor.

In 1982, I was Mark’s apprentice for 12 months on the 144’ sailing ship – the Barkentine r/v Regina Maris – where he was Chief Engineer (El Jefe) – and I was the Assistant Engineer (El Lacayo) – earning $1 / day.

It’s Mark’s fault that I am a physician.

As we diagnosed, disassembled (and reassembled) diesel engines, bilge pumps, de-salinators and generators together – Mark taught me the fine art of diagnosis, decision making, and careful, patient action. 

In healthcare we call this SOAP (Subjective Objective Assessment and Plan) – On Six Forks Road (and Toyota) – it’s called PDCA (Plan-do-check-adjust).

Medical Educators call it GNOME.

Regardless of the name/ framework/ religion we use – it’s about thinking carefully, calmly and strategically about where you want to end up – then having the knowledge, skill and attitude to get you there.

We're on our way to Mark's memorial service now.  Marcie sent me this last night – which does a better job than I ever will in telling a short story about our friend: