It felt good to stuff the stethoscope back into my pocket and slip into the emergency department last night. The constant ringing of phones, beeping of cardiac monitors, and distant wail of inbound EMS units was a welcome cacophony compared to the isolated silence of the library study rooms. Sweeping the curtain back as we stepped into the first patient room, the hours of frustration with biochemical pathways and embryological derivatives ...

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It's amazing how quickly you can lose track of time as you power through the books. Once everything is setup -- coffee to the left, pens and highlighters to the right, Grooveshark playlist perfectly tuned -- you can suddenly look up and realize that three weeks have flown by and there are 123 multiple choice questions to be answered in the morning. Over the past year and a half I've learned ...

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There comes a moment when you're forced to step beyond the things you know. It's a split second -- an instant adjustment from the safety of recollection to the insecurity of the unknown. Day after day we head into the library, hunching over twice-reviewed notes and hidden behind piles of books yet to be read. We push ourselves to work harder, study longer. We toil knowing that each page holds ...

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Last year I was assigned to complete a history and physical on a patient in the hospital. Stifling my excitement to be doing this on a weekend night, I walked to the operator's desk and paged the on-call intern, who -- I'd been assured -- knew I was coming. "You're who now for what?" she stared blankly back at me after I'd explained my task. My patient (we'll call her Betty) ...

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Showing me how much medicine Ive never even known existed This is Lokin. Every morning as I enter the hospital, Lokin sits in the same spot. Last week he was covered in gasoline and set aflame by a man in his village -- a dispute over gambling debts. For the past five days I've walked silently past this man, torn apart by not knowing what to do. I could tell him all ...

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