As an ER doctor, I often meet people on the worst day of their lives. I’m the guy who gets to tell you your mom is dead. I’m the one who works the futile code on your four-year-old, while your screams cut right through everyone in the room. I find your cancer. I tell you your husband overdosed in the McDonald’s parking lot. When you decide you want to shoot ...

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I want you to do me a favor. Pretend we’re meeting each other for the first time. You have to describe who you are in 10 words or less without mentioning any relationship to another human being. You can’t cop out and say: I’m Anne’s husband, Paul’s mom or Mike’s oldest child. Who are you? Who and how do you identify yourself? For most doctors, a few of those ten words ...

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I started internship July 1, 2008, as a terrified 25-year-old blank slate. Most days started with a combination of nausea and dread as I pumped myself up in the resident parking lot — conveniently located a mere 1/2 mile from the entrance to the ivory tower I called home. The days were long. The nights were longer. Every month I had the chance to be a brand new idiot as a ...

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