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A Piece of My Mind
May 4, 2011

It’s Never Too Late

JAMA. 2011;305(17):1742-1743. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.553

I just turned 40. But I am not having a mid-life crisis. I am having an epiphany, a realization that as a physician I can be more than just a clinician.

I came to medical school in 1992, young and eager to care for patients and to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a physician. Having grown up in Chicago, the oldest in a family of four sisters, I was raised to believe that as a woman, there was nothing I couldn't do. After the first year of medical school, I participated in a summer externship at the local rehabilitation hospital—a choice that proved to be pivotal in my career. While there, I worked under a strong female physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) with a clinical interest in women's health. I gravitated toward this little-known specialty where I could begin a therapeutic journey with patients after other physicians had “finished” their clinical workups.

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