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A Piece of My Mind
July 9, 2014

The Nod

Author Affiliations
  • 1Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA. 2014;312(2):133-134. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.7502

Our ward team was big that month—two interns, three medical students, and a senior resident. The gender mix was surprisingly balanced; nearly half women and half men, which was kind of unusual because, for whatever reason, I’ve often found myself with nearly all of one or the other. What wasn’t unusual, however, was that I was the only black person on our team. Despite the outward phenotypic homogeneity of our team, culturally we couldn’t have been more different.

One person was from the Middle East. Another had one white parent and one East Asian parent. Two were of Jewish faith but with wide variation in their levels of observance. There was even a Southern-born and -bred resident on the team who described himself as “Just a good ol’ country boy.” Last, there was a medical student who, after hearing of all these assorted backgrounds, shrugged and said, “I guess I’m a regular white girl from the Midwest.”