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A Piece of My Mind
January 13, 2010

The Family Business

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2010;303(2):114. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1905

It is a muggy August day, but the assembled students and their families don't seem to mind the heat as they await the closing element of the white coat ceremony. My pulse quickens when I hear my son and his classmates recite “I do solemnly swear . . . ” and symbolically join the ranks of physicians. My wife gives me a knowing look, and I squeeze her hand in return. We know what awaits our son and are in equal parts wistful and excited, recognizing the hard work and emotional challenges he will face and the subtle pleasures that medicine offers its practitioners in exchange.

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