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A Piece of My Mind
December 19, 2017

Walking the Shoreline: Erosion, Regrowth, and Professional Formation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Section of Palliative Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire
JAMA. 2017;318(23):2297-2298. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.18040

I’ve grown up walking shorelines. Each summer the beach reveals new contours. In one place, the span from dunes to the edge of the water has narrowed; farther down the beach, a vast expanse of flat sand stretches into the ocean. A sandbar appears just off shore, reachable at low tide through a gully brimming with life: minnows, crabs, starfish. While the core of my island stays constant, its shores are ever changing, shaped and reshaped by wind and water, tides, storms. Reflecting on this cycle of erosion and regrowth, I’ve come to see the process of professional formation in a new way.