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April 2, 1982

A Sensitive Subject

JAMA. 1982;247(13):1875. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320380067038

When my medical school class began there were 64 eager students, and 64 students eventually finished four years later. I recall each year the story surrounding the one who did not make it and was replaced.

From the first day we were told how small our class size was; it was obvious to anyone who had come from the larger universities. One Berkeley graduate said, "I had more people than this in my organic lab!"

The newness of the school soon faded, but the excitement of histology, physiology, and courses I can no longer remember propelled us through the first quarter.

Tight groups of friends readily developed, but one person seemed to remain anonymous even within this small group of 64. It was the classics major, dark-haired, with round-rimmed tortoise-shell glasses, soft-spoken, who, when we were in social groups, was always alone. He did not play touch football, throw the