A retreat for fishing, writing and contemplation

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
A collaborative project with



HealthOne Center
1850 High Street
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303 839 6755
Fax: 303 832 8137
e-mail: nlhep@aol.com

A Retreat for Fishing, Writing and Contemplation

September 1996
(Written in the Northwest Territories)
PEP Pioneers
Second Wind
Torrance, California

Dear Friends;

For the past four consecutive years, eight pulmonologists have traveled to the Northwest Territories for the purpose of relaxing in the pristine environment of Great Slave Lake and for fishing.  While here, we have ample time for discussing the fascinating changing scene which marks our profession today.  We have started a series of short monographs, written for the frontline/primary care physician.  Our method is to arrive with writing assignments in nearly completed form.  However, we take ample time to read aloud our “words of wisdom”.  We criticize, argue, revise, and arrive at a consensus about the message contained in each chapter.  Medicine is not black and white; there are a variety of methods and diagnostic procedures which may or may not be appropriate in given medical situations.

Two years ago we finished Frontline Treatment of COPD.   It was published in 1996 and was very well received.  Nearly 50,000 copies will be distributed to primary care physicians.  Last year we completed Frontline Treatment of Asthma; it is soon to be released.  This year we are working on Frontline Treatment of Common Pulmonary Infections.  Other messages are planned for the future.

Fishing?  Yes, it is usually great and we spend each morning and part of the afternoon sharing lunch and catching a few more.  Then we get down to our writing each afternoon before dinner.

Today, nature has changed our plans.  Fierce winds and rain are making fishing impossible - even dangerous.  This gives us more time for reflection and contemplation.  Our collective fellowship is enhanced by nature’s wisdom that dictates that man cannot go fishing every day.  At times we need to pause and ponder.

I’ll be in touch next month.

     Sincerely yours,

    Thomas Petty, MD

Last update:
9 April 2002