While riding shotgun in the family minivan on the way home from a fall break water park trip, I received the following text message:

I thought of you today! One of the residents here had done a great job with a complex (and really sad) labor and delivery patient, and the nurse was telling me how awesome she was … so I thought to myself that I should do what you ...

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Not knowing what else to do after finishing my pediatric residency 15 years ago, I became a general pediatrician. Not knowing how to find a job halfway across the country and closer to home, I relied on a recruiter from a smallish town in South Dakota to woo me into private practice. Not knowing how to choose my future partners, I let them choose me. Despite my unbelievably naive approach to ...

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The glorious season is upon us. Yes, it is finally autumn. But it is also the season of ERAS with all of its letters of recommendation, USMLE scores, medical school transcripts, and personal statements. I have dutifully reviewed dozens of applicants whose last names begin with the letters “T” through “Z.” I have noted the test scores and grades. I have considered the caliber of medical school and whether the LORs ...

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“Do your parents realize that he could die?” I had been summoned to the workspace of the ED physician who was trying to save my brother’s life. I remember noticing that he was short with thick brown hair and a crisp white coat which were both too tidy and incongruent with the message he was delivering. He struck me as someone who was earnestly playing the role of a physician instead ...

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I learn all manner of interesting things from the information sheets posted on the walls of the employee bathrooms at my hospital. I learn, for example, about upcoming CME offerings for advance practice providers, how many seconds one has to scrub the hub of a central line, and what the new process is when nurses need to call in sick. They call a specific phone number and state that they ...

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During my first pregnancy, I frequently dreamt of my baby. I couldn’t remember the details of facial features or hair color, but I always knew that I was going to have a girl. Three years passed after Claire was born, two more heartbeats were identified and then lost somewhere deep within my abdomen. On two occasions, I watched blood seep from my body and stain my clothing, realizing that I didn’t ...

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The supervising resident’s Voalte phone dinged: “Dr. Mel: Please meet Dr. Rosemond at room 514 for Cardiology rounds.” She scrolled up a few texts and saw that her male counterpart who had rounded the previous day had been addressed as “Dr. Stearnes.” When Mel mentioned the discrepancy to Jacob Stearnes, he just shrugged and said, “The cardiology nurse probably doesn’t even know my first name.” When Mel mentioned the discrepancy to her husband, ...

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Fresh out of residency and having just turned 29 years old, I started my first job as a general pediatrician in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. One of the first official tasks of my new position involved picking out brand new office furniture for my private windowed office which was housed along the perimeter of the multi-specialty clinic I had joined. I went with a blond L-shaped desk and shelf unit ...

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It’s been a gut-punch kind of time for many of us, and I want to say a few things that I think are important. First of all, I really love working with you guys. It is the best part of my job, hands down. I have taken stock of my career lately, and I keep coming back to that. You are young and optimistic and funny (so, so funny). You are ...

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