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FOREWORD: Editor's Letter

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Bedside Manner

I’m somewhat reluctant to confess that, at 40, I underwent some fairly significant outpatient surgery this summer to remove a particularly nasty varicose vein in my lower leg. Not only was it ugly, it was causing me considerable discomfort. Support stockings or lasers weren’t an option in this case. Only a full stripping would suffice.

So I called upon Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Dr. Ronald Mattson, one of the finest vascular surgeons out there. My procedure took less than two hours and was surprisingly hassle-free. I was up and walking within hours—and surfing and running in Avalon after just two weeks.

Still, on that June afternoon, I was a bit nervous as I lay in the operating room at the Chester County Hospital, where Mattson is an attending surgeon. To ease the tension, I struck up a brief conversation with my doctor, an amiable guy with a surprisingly humble disposition. Mattson asked me what I did for I living. I told him I was the editor of Main Line Today.

As he traced the route of the offending vein along my leg with a black marker, Mattson sang the praises of MLT and mentioned that he’d been quoted in the magazine a number of times. In fact, I’d found out about his work in an article that ran in one of our recent Health & Wellness guides. He seemed to get a kick out of that.

And that’s really the last thing I recall before waking up in the recovery room at the hospital, my leg wrapped in an ace bandage from ankle to thigh. The bruising was substantial, but it faded quickly, as did the swelling around the incisions, which were small. The vein is gone—and I can’t say I miss it. The good doctor did a bang-up job.

So I was glad to see that Mattson made our list of Top Doctors this year. I, for one, think he deserves the honor—they all do. Happy, healthy patients are any top doctor’s main priority. Yet there’s nothing quite like a hearty pat on the back from your peers every now and then. And something tells me Mattson has had plenty of those over his 36-year career.

 

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: In the spirit of the season, we’ve profiled six generous Main Liners—five living, one long deceased; one well known, the rest perhaps less so. And while Jack Templeton’s status among the philanthropic elite is undisputed, writer Beth Kephart makes a compelling case for the lionization of another Bryn Mawr resident, George W. Childs, whose monumental good deeds are in danger of being lost to history. “For years, I’ve harbored a fascination with Childs,” says Kephart. “He was the foremost philanthropist of his time, giving everything to nearly everyone.”

 

ETC.: We appreciate the tremendous response to our November “Know Your Schools” cover feature. Most of the feedback centered on things we missed, so we’ve updated the story on our website to include any new information we received. Be sure to check it out.

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