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A Piece of My Mind
November 10, 2010

Suitable for Framing

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2010;304(18):1992. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1556

My faculty practice organization renovated the building it owns. A massive redecoration of the offices occurred. As part of this process, we all had to take down everything from our walls so they could be repainted. All of the pictures, certificates, and sundry tchotchkes came down, boxed and relegated to an empty and unused office for the month or two that this process unfolded. The walls are now a pristine off-white. A signal was shortly given that it was time to rehang what needed to be rehung. This seemed the least of my priorities, and the certificates languished for another month in a dark corner, almost forgotten until a patient remarked that I needed some pictures on my walls because they seemed too stark and sterile. That was my second signal, and so I went to the office one weekend to do the task. I was desultory, uneven, and regretting the act of marring the pristine walls with holes. Did I really need to hang these things? If anyone cared to inspect my credentials, he or she could simply go online. For a moment, I romanticized the minimalist look, fantasizing a sleek and decoration-free existence whose subtle contours serenely project a Zen-like ambience to my daily routines.

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