I am not a doctor.  (Yet.)  I am a novice third-year medical student, somewhat able to perform and document a physical exam on a sleeping child, to dial the correct number to call a consult and to make wild guesses about chest X-rays (“I see a consolidation?”). I write about medicine not from a position of experience, but of malleability.  I want to become like the best doctors I see. Towards ...

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In my first year in the hospital, as a third-year medical student, there was one refrain I often heard from physicians and staff alike: This is a hospital, not a hotel. It was an expression of the frustration engendered by “needy patients,” those who were upset that their breakfast was late or that the room was too hot or that they couldn’t speak with the physician just this second. Often, ...

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