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A Piece of My Mind
July 10, 2018

On Breaking Bad News

Author Affiliations
  • 1Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
JAMA. 2018;320(2):135-136. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8544

“Dog died.”

The summer after ninth grade, I spent eight weeks on an idyllic lake in the pinky of Michigan, at a camp for artsy teenagers. When I look back on this time, it stands out as a sort of golden summer, full of singing, sunshine, and the best parts of adolescence. I think of myself during those weeks as being close to my best self, and I enjoyed camp so much that I even went back for a second dose the following year. Still, there is one bit of particular sourness that lingers from that first summer; one that, if not for its absurdity, would be heartbreaking.