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A Piece of My Mind
January 10, 2017

Aspects of Ending a Lifelong Dream

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Bioethics and Humanities, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver
JAMA. 2017;317(2):137-138. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.13918

As the time approached to empty my office and end a long career in the practice of cardiology, I decided to take home each day one boxful of artifacts I had placed there over the years. Replete with sentiment by nature, I was surprised that, day after day, I had no emotional response to removing and packing the items. Each had been “chosen for its meaning or its beauty,”1 and each is dear to me. The artifacts signify formative and sustaining occurrences in my life that took me from the uncarved block I was at the beginning of my career to the physician and person I am.