I am very enthusiastic about the development of the NYU/Bellevue Core Emergency Medicine Project. The discussions, sharing of knowledge, and explorations of innovative ways to learn, teach and practice medicine will be great assets for us all in meeting our professional needs. I have great confidence in Anand Swaminathan’s creative and intellectual skills to offer us the best in this medical experience. I would like to offer “a word” or actually several thoughts of caution as we continue to offer you so many ways of communication.

I so often see our students, residents, nurses and faculty in front of a screen—blinking or signaling us to act on behalf of Verghese’s “iPatient” while the actual patient calls unsuccessfully for assistance with a very human voice. When I see so many thoughtful people with earphones on in the street, snapping and sharing photographs or fixed in front of computer screens in the hospital, I wonder whether we all can appreciate the “presence of the absence” of these devices.

I believe that we all must have periods—hopefully each day—when we can think in the absence of “visual or auditory” noise—some would say “communicate with nature”, others meditate. Freedom from “time saving devices” that link you everywhere is valuable. It is essential to free yourself to integrate, think, create and slow down. These innovations in medical education—Blogs, Podcasts, Websites may be fast tracking knowledge, but I expect deep thought, innovations and creativity from you as exceptional physicians to transform American medicine.

I assure you that I want you to be world citizens and fine communicators, but more than anything I want your passion, compassion, creativity, innovation and science to be enriched each day.