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A Piece of My Mind
May 5, 2015

The Hero in Medicine

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque; and Presbyterian Health System, Albuquerque, New Mexico
JAMA. 2015;313(17):1715. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3390

We all need our heroes.

I am nearing the end of my career in medicine. Like others who reach this professional milestone, I have mixed feelings about my doctoring life. At the beginning I was in love with the nobility of the profession. Now I am not so sure. Enthusiasm in medicine often fades with advancing age. Intense clinical practice fosters isolation. Long hours monopolize time. The repetitive patterns of illness blunt the sense of discovery and dull the edge of motivation. Professional satisfaction has not fully compensated for a waning sense of wonder. Now more than ever I am in need of inspiration. And so, as always, I turn to my hero.

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