I remember very clearly how nervous I was before starting this adventure and how little time it took me in order to be overcome by the euphoria of this new world!
Most certainly the people I had around me helped with my introduction, making it less difficult that I had expected, filling up my days and helping me get organized. Key words: do not waste time or chances!
One of the instances was dinner at Mark Myerson’s house for Wednesday lecture. After Monday’s appointment in which we discussed the week’s cases, we were invited to his house for a lesson on Wednesday. The invitation was not only for us fellows but also for visitors, always numerous. Mark told us to wear comfortable clothes, tracksuits, and that we were to stay for dinner. Mark lives just outside of Baltimore. As soon as I arrived, I saw him dressed in an Italian Nationals tracksuit. After a while I saw some mats placed on the grass outside and understood: a yoga session was awaiting us.
Every month, twice a month, the appointment at Mark’s house would repeat itself with the usual schedule: yoga, lesson and dinner.

The yoga lesson (nothing close to basic yoga for beginners) involved climbing, acrobats and various positions. We would end the hour feeling physically tried, all except our teacher who seemed satisfied in seeing us destroyed and panting.
In the second part of the evening, we would unite in the living room to discuss the daily subject. It was usually Mark who asked us what subject matter we wished to examine in depth: from flat foot to lesser known pathologies such as Charcot Marie Tooth, prosthetic ankle, arthrodesis of the ankle, hallux valgus, osteomy of the higher malleolar.
Mark always invited us to interact during these lessons; they were not a monologue but a true exchange of ideas and opinions supported by bibliographical references. In the days preceding these lessons, we were assigned by Mark specific orthopaedic texts and articles to read in order to be informed n regards to techniques, past and present, and on the subject matter in general.
Discussion with the other fellows has been very productive for me. These Wednesday sessions would be a concentrate of a weeks worth of un-asked questions, for lack of time and space, and clearing any accumulated doubts. The fact of discussing single topics allowed us to focus in order to develop a true competence and avoiding the confusion created during the apprehending of too many heterogeneous notions at the same time.

The dinner following the lectures, rigorously prepared by Mark with our help, gave us time to assimilate what was discussed as well as the chance to ask any further question.

It’s not necessary to explain how fundamentally important Mark was during my year in Baltimore. His teaching method surprised me since the start. It is certainly necessary to have both a bit of folly as well as a bit of genius in order to ask young fellows, exhausted after a day’s work, to participate in one further lesson when all they would want is to go home and rest. Being able to transform a lecture into a bimonthly event that no one wants to miss, is something that truly struck me. Without taking anything away from chef Mark’s delicious dinners.