I OWE MY INTEREST in achievement to many people who mentored and inspired me beginning in early childhood. My parents, Robert and Elpidia Smith, were deeply involved in my at-home learning and were constant sources of encouragement. A remarkable childhood friend, Dr. Jane Binger Bernstein, began coaching me about achievement when I was eleven and she was twelve, teaching me how to set and methodically work toward important goals. Jane is still a great friend and advisor to me, thirty-five years later. She has had an enormous impact on my life.
I have been blessed since those early years with wonderful teachers and role models, male and female. Dr. Larry Inderbitzin, a psychoanalyst and academic psychiatrist, was my greatest teacher and mentor during my Georgetown residency and in the years since, giving me the foundation of my understanding of mental life. I would also like to thank another psychiatrist, Dr. Layton McCurdy, Dean of the College of Medicine at MUSC, for his great support and direct encouragement in the writing of this book. Psychiatry has offered me contact with a number of inspirational women who have been pioneers in women's issues, particularly Drs. Carol Nadelson and Carolyn Robinowitz.