Upon walking through the revolving door that guards the hospital’s main entrance, I was ushered by security staff to join the queues of my peers, also seeking passage to their respective posts. “The new policy,” the officer explained, examining my hospital ID to confirm that I am, indeed, an employee. Visitors are no longer allowed. “Please sanitize your hands,” another instructed me, as he pointed to the neat rows of surgical masks ...

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"Are you my doctor?" Mary* asked me, as I, a resident physician, approached her bed. "Yes, I am one of the primary medical doctors taking care of you here," I confirmed with my standard, pre-scripted introduction — with little appreciation of the implications of these words. Mary was a 30-something-year-old woman who transferred to our hospital due to worsening alcohol-related liver disease. She had struggled with anxiety and depression since her teenage ...

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“All of you want to help people and save the world now. But, by the end of medical school, only two of you -- if we’re lucky -- will remain idealistic.” Within the first three days of medical school, I had heard three different lecturers tell me that I would lose my compassion and empathy. By the end of the first three weeks, that number had grown to six. During the ...

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