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A Piece of My Mind
December 18, 2013

Recognizing Pride

Author Affiliations
  • 1St Jude’s Children Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee

Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2013;310(23):2505-2506. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.283714

My dad could mop the auditorium floor better than any white coat–clad parent on the stage.

At the conclusion of the white coat ceremony, the dean of my medical school displayed the generationals on stage to the sound of much enthusiastic applause. Cameras flashed. Families beamed. The podium boasted related pairings of father-daughter, mother-son, father-son, or mother-daughter physician alumni in sterile, white coat armory. The same cursive surname embroidered the chest pocket of a triple threat: grandpa, dad, and son. I glanced over at my dad, humbly seated in the dark distance of the auditorium. And my chest boasted pangs of gratitude and pride. I was raised by a janitor.

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