It was the third year of medical school. Month two. First afternoon of my primary care clinic, first patient. I felt overwhelmed and unprepared until I saw the brief chart note for F. He’d had a positive tuberculosis test for an employment physical, with a follow-up negative chest x-ray, but he was required to be on intensive, two-drug treatment for six months to prevent developing the condition. This was the ...

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As a third-year med student, I was doing an ER shift when the call came through our dispatch: 56-year-old man, status epilepticus, being flown in from Yosemite, 10 minutes out. I watched the residents snap into a semi-ordered chaos. Ten crucial minutes. Prepping the trauma bay. Anticipating acute management, who was going to do it, half-tying the yellow paper gowns. Anyone who had looked tired didn’t anymore. We raced in the ...

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