I became interested in surgery early in medical school and began to do significant research in transplant physiology. My first paper was on aseptic necrosis of the hip in transplant patients on steroids which was presented at the University of Michigan. I graduated with honors in surgical research and went to Connecticut for a general surgical residency. I became sidetracked by interacting with a group of outstanding urologists in Bridgeport during an elective rotation. That changed everything. I switched career pathways and matriculated to Albany Medical Center where I met my wife, Gail. The urologic training also allowed me to pursue other academic interests such as the history of science. Finishing training in 1988, I pursued a fellowship with George Drach in stone disease, while endourology was in its infancy. During the fellowship year in which George gave me intense latitude, I met a young general surgery fellow who introduced me to laparoscopy. I moved on to an academic position at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento, California. Here I could explore laparoscopic surgery intensively in a laboratory setting and began interacting with high end technologies such as robotic systems by 2000.