It's 8:00 p.m., and it's hour 14 in my 28-hour call shift at the large suburban hospital where I'm an intern. You demand to speak with a doctor now, right now. You cannot wait. Your mother is sick, and you want to know exactly what is going on. It doesn't matter that we already spoke at length by phone earlier this afternoon. It doesn't matter that it's 8:00 p.m. It doesn't matter ...

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We stand outside in the heat. We swat at the occasional persistent mosquito. We try to ignore the sweat beading down our foreheads and the backs of our necks. We retreat to the deepest recesses of shade we can find. We wish for a hint of a wisp of a smidgen of a breeze. We hold court on life and love. We laugh and tease and are determined to have ...

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