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Cahn: I, Google
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Have you ever “Googled” yourself? Yes, I have just enough of an ego to do so now and then, just to see if any of my articles have ended up where I least expect them.

If you’ve never done this, I suggest you do so. You might be surprised at what you’ll find out there in Google-land (or through Bing, Yahoo! and the like).

Now, there are some other Martin Cahns in the world -- more on that shortly -- so I always start by searching for “Martin L. Cahn,” using the quotation marks and my middle initial. Putting things in quotation marks while doing a search tells Google you only want matches of the exact phrase in the quotation marks. The “L.” is because it’s part of my official byline and distinguishes me from the other Martin Cahns out there.

When I tried this out Thursday, I was greeted by a few pictures of myself. The first actual website result would have taken folks to a story I wrote recently for the C-I. The second result would take you to my personal Facebook page.

Following those were links to a list I appeared on winners of S.C. Press Association Awards in 2011; my old Google+ page (which I’ve long since abandoned); a PDF copy of a KershawHealth story I wrote last year; and my profile on Goodreads, the book tracking website (which I need to update soon).

On the next page of results, I found my late stepmother’s obituary from 2000; links to comments I’d made on other people’s websites or blogs; and Anna Mazurek’s screen shots on her website of the interview I did with her in conjunction with last year’s All-County Academic Team series.

The majority of other results were links to other Facebook posts and articles I’ve written.

But what happens when you take the “L.” out of “Martin L. Cahn”?

A whole bunch of hits for Dr., Martin Cahn, MD, in Seattle, Wash. His website, connected to Northeast Primary Care’s Fremont clinic. This particular Martin Cahn is the director of the clinic, board certified in family medicine, with patients ranging from babies to seniors. He’s practiced medicine in Seattle for 30 years, helped train students at or from various universities. He earned a bachelor’s degree from MIT, his M.D. from Tufts and performed his family practice residency in Buffalo, N.Y. He was once featured as one of Seattle Met Magazine’s “Best Doctors in Seattle.”

I wish.

Actually, growing up, I wanted to be a doctor. I was born in New York (but have never been to Boston in the springtime, or any other time of year) and once thought about living in Seattle.

Reading about Dr. Cahn makes me think I’m peeking into an alternate universe of myself.

Further on down the line of Google hits for “Martin Cahn,” I found a very moving entry from 2010 on JewishGen.org, a Jewish genealogy website where a man named Martin Cahn recounted his efforts to learn more about his family. Insofar as I can tell, his branch of the Cahns are no relation to mine. If I’m reading things right, his family originally spelled Cahn with a K, for Kahn. My original family name is something wild like Trischinsky. No, I have no idea if that’s the right spelling, but that’s how I imagine it based on the pronunciation I’ve heard.

Anyway, this Martin Cahn -- who appears to be from Cambridge in the U.K. -- was named for his paternal great-grandfather Max Martin Cahn -- which is remarkable for me because my paternal great-great-grandfather was Maxwell Cahn.

There are a smattering of other Martin Cahn entries, but most seem to be genealogical references in the past.

The most remarkable thing I found of me? A 1977 Washington Post article quoting my 12-year-old self upon the closing of my elementary school, Whittier Woods.

I was described by the reporter as “gregarious.” See, I haven’t changed a bit.

Google yourself and see what you can find. You might even smile.