By the time he was a senior in high school, L. Leighton Hill, M.D., FAAP, knew he was destined to practice medicine.

The idea crystallized when he was captain of his high school football team in Slidell, La., a tiny town 35 miles northeast of New Orleans. The team's physician, Arkie Erwin, had graduated recently from Louisiana State University (LSU), where he had been a nationally prominent hurdler for the track team.

When young Hill suffered an ankle injury, Dr. Erwin took great care of him, and the two athletes struck up a fast friendship. "I was tremendously impressed with Arkie Erwin, and my family just thought he was the greatest," said Dr. Hill, newly elected District VII chair and AAP Board member.

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