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A Piece of My Mind
January 23/30, 2013

Hating Hope

Author Affiliations

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

Author Affiliation: Division of Hospital Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland (rutledgr@ohsu.edu).

JAMA. 2013;309(4):353-354. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.185447

I found it while searching folder after folder of papers in my usual hurried state. I would be completing internal medicine residency in just four months, then starting my new job as an attending physician, and I desperately needed to find my birth certificate for licensure paperwork that was already delinquent. Things had not been going well for me: I was moving from an emotionally taxing ICU rotation to a month on the oncology service—my least favorite in the entire hospital. Throughout residency I had a difficult time working with overly optimistic families, and in my mind overly optimistic oncologists were even worse. What I found in my stacks of papers reminded me why.