Sesquicentennial Banner Is Out of This World
|The Feinberg School of Medicine’s sesquicentennial banner|
Certainly the founding fathers of the Feinberg School of Medicine never dreamed that its 150th anniversary would be celebrated in outer space.
With the purple and white sesquicentennial banner tucked away in his official flight kit, Feinberg School alum Michael Barratt, MD, and Expedition 19 crewmates arrived safely aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on March 28. The newcomers have spent the past few days learning procedures from the Expedition 18 crew and unpacking supplies, according to the official NASA web site. Dr. Barratt is the operation’s flight engineer responsible for servicing and maintenance of such systems as life support and thermal control as well as robotics operation.
In a letter to Dean J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, Dr. Barratt asked for the banner as a memento of his years as a medical student at Northwestern. Barratt received his MD from the Feinberg School in 1985 and completed a three-year residency in internal medicine in 1988 and chief residency year in 1989. His wife, Michelle, is also an alum sharing his medical school graduation and residency completion years.
“We were married when we started medical school together, and she tolerated my blossoming interest in aerospace medicine during those years, not realizing what it would grow into,” he quipped in a 2007 Ward Rounds interview. In the same interview, he calls the six months away from his family aboard the ISS, “a small piece of the pie.”
“You have to make a family decision that the time away and the risk are justified by what good you can do, and everyone has to have a stake in the mission,” he said.