Edward Valenstein reviews early influences on Kenneth Heilman’s career, culminating in his neurology residency at Boston City Hospital. We briefly review the pre-eminence of this institution in American Neurology under Derek Denny-Brown. When Ken was a second year resident, Norman Geschwind was selected to succeed Denny-Brown as head of the Neurological Unit. Geschwind was a remarkable teacher and mentor, and had a profound effect on Ken’s career. Ken had a longstanding interest in the neglect syndrome, and with Geschwind’s help and support he developed an animal model to create neglect in monkeys. After completing his residency Ken joined the faculty at the University of Florida. RTW recounts the effect that Ken had on him and other residents. He shared many of Geschwind’s qualities as a teacher: availability, enthusiasm, and the ability to involve the learner in the process of generating and testing hypotheses. His energy and enthusiasm launched a long-lasting research program, but also a text, now in its fourth edition, a continuing education program, which is still given annually, and a fellowship program. Ken has been remarkably consistent over the years. His enthusiasm, support for research, and mentorship remain exemplary, and after years of training and practice in Virginia, Boston, and Florida, his Brooklyn accent remains unchanged. Ken is a great teacher who combines his love for learning with a unique ability to help others learn. He has dedicated his life to learning the relationships between brain and behaviour, and stands alone as a thinker and innovator.
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