Since my residency, my professional activities have been equally divided between 15 years in pediatric cardiology (teaching research and patient care) and 15 years serving as chairman of two academic pediatric departments. As I now return to full-time cardiology, I have thought much about all of the new diagnostic and therapeutic measures developed in my subspecialty in the past 15 years (and all of the "old," once-infallible techniques, now rarely used, such as dye didilution curves and vector-cardiograms). Even "new" diseases with major cardiac complications have been described (Kawasaki disease), while the pattern ofoccurrence of"old" diseases seems to be changing (eg, rheumatic fever and the incidence of certain congenital cardiac lesions).
The 1985 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology was awarded to Michael S. Brown, MD, and Joseph Goldstein, MD, for the delineation of familial hypercholesterolemia, one of the most common of all genetic disorders. This represents a milestone in pediatrics and cardiology as well as all of medicine.