I remember climbing into my mother’s office chair and pretending to be the doctor. I was six years old then, wearing her oversized white coat with its sleeves hanging over my small hands. She was a practicing physician in a time period that no longer exists — communist Armenia. This was a time when physicians made about the same salary as factory workers — a time when university education and ...

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My last patient of the day was an elderly woman with metastatic lung cancer, a non-smoker who had been battling this terrible disease for more than a year. I was running thirty minutes behind. I had a packed afternoon with difficult cases and patients who required more of my time and care. I peeked into her room, said hello and apologized for running late. Ms. B.  greeted me with her ...

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