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A Piece of My Mind
March 11, 1998

Paths

Author Affiliations
 

Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 1998;279(10):734. doi:10.1001/jama.279.10.734

There were no clues that this was to be a memorable rotation. It was early in the academic year and my first ward rotation in the dim green halls of a southern VA hospital. I felt equal but competing surges of anxiety and anticipation. Armed for combat with a brand new "Washington manual" and blazing bright lab coat, I listened attentively as my senior resident introduced me to "our service." It seemed manageable. That is, until Mr W.

Even before I laid eyes on him, I knew Mr W was trouble. With the selfish insecurity of a new intern, I listened to his problem list. One by one the problems leapt from my resident's mouth onto my shoulders, dragging down my spirit and any hope I had for leaving the hospital that century.

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