During the recent winter break, I went home and visited my yearly slew of doctors for check-ups: vision, dental, gynecology, etc. In the exam room, my new gynecologist instructed me to put my feet up in the stirrups. I had recently learned in a seminar at school that new guidelines on Pap smears suggest spacing them every three years for women at my age, and I wondered, “Do I even ...

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Before coming to medical school, I made a promise to myself: I will not become a robot doctor. Time and again, I visited what I call robot doctors: those physicians unable to empathize with me and seemingly unable to compute moments when I said something unscripted. For example, I once made an appointment with a doctor to discuss what might have been irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While describing my symptoms ...

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