It has been a while, but I had a rough go of it as an intern. At some point, deep into a long first winter of adjusting to calling myself “doctor,” I was found sobbing in a corner and sent to see a counselor. He was a grandfatherly man who quietly asked me if I had been feeling sad. I said, yes, I had, and elaborated on how I felt my new job was making me sad. My job, at that very moment, consisted of an unending series of hours in a neonatal intensive care unit tentatively prodding tiny infants at the edge of viability and crossing my fingers that maybe just one of them would do well. The month prior, I’d been on oncology service where I’d hoped beyond hope that the young child with stage IV neuroblastoma would make it. Before that, I was on pulmonary service where I wished for one good thing to happen to the teenager with end-stage cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and liver failure.
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Ralston SL. Normal. JAMA. 2018;320(15):1537–1538. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14435
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