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A Piece of My Mind
September 11, 2018

Pumped

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2018;320(10):977-978. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.12212

At the end of intern year in medicine, my colleagues joked about assigning superlatives for our class. “Hilary would receive most likely to discharge all her patients in one day.” “Karyn would get most likely to be drinking the ginger ale meant for patients.” “Charlotte would definitely be most likely to be found in the call room.” They were referring to the fact that every two or three hours while I was in the hospital, I slipped away to punch “5-4-9” into the keypad to unlock the intern call room—my self-designated lactation room. As fast as I could, I would hang up my white coat, take off my badge, place my pager, patient list, snack, and water bottle on the desk, lift up my shirt, detach my bra, attach my hands-free pumping bra, insert the pump flanges into the bra, attach the flanges to the pump, turn on the pump, think about my baby boy, log into the computer, make a mental to-do list, and pray for a fast milk ejection reflex.

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