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June 10, 1983

Internship—July 1962

JAMA. 1983;249(22):3093-3094. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330460069039

He was nervous and he knew it. He had slept fitfully the night before, anticipating the alarm set to wake him at 6:30 AM. He washed and shaved, then dressed in his uniform whites. He bolted down his morning coffee, a quick cup of instant made without thinking. His thoughts were elsewhere. He remembered to put his stethoscope into his right side jacket pocket, his pen and pencil into the upper left pocket, and his notebook and percussion hammer into his lower left pocket. A safety pin was attached through the first buttonhole of his jacket and he knotted a length of soft rubber tubing through a belt loop.

Today he was starting his postgraduate apprenticeship. He was an intern and was to begin his rotation in the emergency room.

He was early: the clock on the emergency room wall said 7:45 AM. No matter. He knew the tightness in