Although he never said so, I suspect he would have liked for me to have become a doctor, too. That possibility died in the lab as I dropped chemistry during my freshman year of college as the preferred option to earning an F.
Full disclosure No. 2: One of my sisters is a lawyer, but I love her anyway. Terryn wouldn't remember me on Christmas if I didn't add that she doesn't chase ambulances.
But this column isn't about my family.
It's intended as a bit of a preview for what we have planned for Sunday, when staff writer Tim Wilkins will report on what local doctors are calling a looming health-care crisis. The implications are catastrophic: Some doctors say that rising malpractice costs might inhibit their ability to treat indigent patients who depend on Medicaid to pay their bills.
We promise to make Wilkins' piece fair and balanced. He plans to talk to a lawyers group and the insurance industry.
This scribbling, however, might not meet the Fox News mantra's muster.
We encountered something unforeseen while attempting to interview doctors for Sunday's article. While many of them had much to say privately, some would not speak to us for the record, and others who did so were cautious about what they said.
The reason? They didn't want a big X on their backs for lawyers who make their living suing doctors.
That's a sad commentary.
I don't want to suggest all lawyers are bad. The vast majority of them aren't. I have friends who are lawyers and I hope they will remain my friends after they read this. But any lawyer who is offended by what I say here is probably a bottom-feeder.
There can be no question that a once-noble profession has been sullied by those who, motivated by a lust for money, manipulate our legal system to the detriment of many.
And I don't want to suggest all doctors are good. They make mistakes. The difference is, when they make a mistake, there can be serious consequences that can't be wiped away by a next-day correction, which is what this newspaper depends upon.
Doctoring has lost none of its shine. Doctors typically bring you into the world, and fight hard to keep you here.
Ask any parent whether he prefers that his 8-year-old grow up to be a doctor or a lawyer, and the answer won't surprise.
But those who devote their lives to helping others are under attack. In our litigious society in which someone is to blame for everything, lawsuits are increasingly the option of those who claim they have been injured by a doctor.
These lawsuits, frivolous or otherwise, cost us all. And they surely drive some of our best and brightest young people away from medical school.
I'm glad a certain Duke orthopedic went to medical school, because he gave me a wonderful gift earlier this year.
I was beginning to accept that I would never play golf again because of chronic pain in my left elbow, but a 73-minute operation has me back on the first tee. This doctor didn't perform a miracle -- a miracle would have been if he could have given me the ability to hit a fairway -- but he made my life better.
When I told the doctor during a follow-up exam that I could again strike a golf ball without pain, his satisfaction was apparent. I think he found more pleasure from that news than from the fee he charged.
I remember asking a doctor once why he had chosen obstetrics as his field.
He answered that his patients were pregnant, not sick, that he was privileged to be able to participate in a joyous family event, and that his patient usually went home happy.
It was one of the best answers to any question I've every asked.
He no longer delivers babies. The threat of a malpractice lawsuit is why.