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A Piece of My Mind
July 28, 2010

A Panda Story

JAMA. 2010;304(4):384-385. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.975

He was clutching a stuffed panda when we met. I had sought refuge in the delightfully corporate garden of the hotel and conference center. I needed a break from the sterile air of the lecture halls. He needed the fresh air to ensure a night's sleep. His mom just needed to catch her breath.

The boy and his panda buzzed around the garden like an inseparable pair of bees. Thankfully, they landed near me.

“Hey there, Mr Panda! What's your name?” I grinned over at his mom and she sighed with relief that someone else (who had the look of a reliable pre-owned mom) would absorb some of his indefatigable energy even for a minute. After all, keeping a 4-year-old occupied for three days at a five-star hotel is not for the faint of heart.