A kind resident or attending asks me, "I'm going for a coffee run. Can I get you anything?" I politely decline. "You sure?" "Yeah, I'm actually doing a caffeine-free residency." A mix of utter disbelief and disgust crosses their faces, probably yours too. With skepticism, people ask: "Why?" I actually hate the taste of coffee. (That is absurd in Seattle, where I'm doing my residency training.) Whenever I try a ...

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At the age of 17, my younger sister Elisabeth noticed a change in her body — enlargement of the front of her neck. “I just thought I was building muscle from working out,” she innocently rationalized. A series of laboratory tests and imaging followed and led to a much more grave discovery — cancer. There are days my family will never forget, like the day of my sister’s diagnosis. My older ...

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I remember the moment I first saw a female chest X-ray. It was my own. My lecturers in the first months of medical school showed a few chest films, but I failed to recognize that the bodies all looked the same. I proudly showed my sister my clear lungs. She laughed and said, "I can see your boobs." I looked again at mine with new eyes, taking in the dull, ...

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