I am a physician, and I am not isolating.  Like the Vietnam War defined my parents’ generation and World War 2 defined the generation before that, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely define mine.  My father and grandfathers went to battle – I am now called to be a soldier.  My small group of orthopaedic trauma surgeons agreed this morning to rotate in and out of hospital shifts every two weeks.  ...

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A surgery resident from halfway around the world emailed me the other day looking for advice as she was nearing graduation.  She confessed, "I am beginning to question myself if I am good enough ... what is 'good enough' anyway?" I had absolutely no idea how to answer the question – what is "good enough" for a surgeon? First, I tried Google. "Am ... I ... Good ... Enough"? 2.5 billion hits and some ...

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As a fourth-year orthopaedic surgery resident, we had some surgical autonomy.  Always at arm’s length from the attending oversight, this was just enough to push us past our comfort zones. My problem was I loved my comfort zone. The single most influential day in my career happened late one evening as a PGY-4.  I was about to start a complex ankle fracture by myself.  The ankle fracture involved the fibula and the ...

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I went to a bar last night -- and I looked good: red coat, black dress, knee-high suede boots.  I was feeling pretty good. I met my best friend at this bar -- he lives elsewhere now -- but this is his favorite spot in the world.  Like Norm in Cheers, he is also their favorite customer. We ordered dinner, and my best friend stepped away to talk to the bartender.  I ...

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