There is a species of jellyfish that exists only in one lake on this entire planet.  Every morning, before the sun rises, these jellyfish travel to the surface of the lake so that algae that live within them can photosynthesize and produce glucose for the jellyfish to survive.  Every day, these jellyfish travel from east to west along the surface of the lake, chasing the rays of the sun, chasing ...

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Today, I hugged a stranger. And I didn’t know his name. We had just operated on a young man, probably in his late teens.  He sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, and was in critical condition.  When he lost pulses in the trauma bay, we cut his chest open and spread his ribs.   His lifeless body laid there as we held his heart in the palm of our ...

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I walk up to the ICU. Ecstatic. I just placed a subclavian line, a chest tube, and performed a bronchoscopy on my patient. Intern year is going well, and today is a great day. For me. I have been learning so much, been trusted to do even more, and been a part of gratifying experiences. Successes. Life-changing procedures. Things that still make me sit in awe that we can transform the human body, ...

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Today, I saved a life. And I wish I could tell you a story about fancy heroics -- about an exploratory laparatomy, a chest thoracostomy, or a patient that coded and I was the last person to perform the chest compressions that brought them back to life.  But I can’t.  But I can tell you that I saved a life. She was 16-years-old, and moved here four years ago from a different ...

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She’s 58, but appears maybe three days older than 42. Her eyes are sunken, tearful, worried, anxious.  She tells me about her two grandchildren, and how she just visited them in Michigan.  She came to the hospital, straight from the airport.  She’s worried. She’s worried because her shortness of breath hasn’t gone away for over a month now.  She has had breast cancer, and opted for a more conservative approach: a ...

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They say medicine is a hard science, based on heavily scrutinized theories and proven postulates.  Medicine is supposedly made up of differentials, diagnostic workups, and medications aimed to alleviate or cure.  Everything is based on evidence, everything. But, today, something happened that hasn’t been researched using IRBs; something intangible that restored my faith in humanity. I was on my way home from a long day of being intensely questioned by residents ...

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