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September 2, 1983

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1983;250(9):1153. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340090019010

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The exam question asked, "How much is your calcium requirement?" My answer was crossed out because I had written 1,200 mg instead of the expected 800 mg. In class the following day, the professor directed the same query to me, obviously allowing the opportunity for a correction. Happily, albeit naively, I repeated my answer, adding that pregnant women had a greater calcium need.

Soon thereafter I received a summons to the Dean's office. Just how pregnant was I? If all went as per expectation, I explained, I should deliver several weeks after graduation.

"Well, that's just the point.... I know you're married and all that... but don't you see that it would be very embarrassing for the school and your classmates to have you go up on the stage in THAT CONDITION. And, it would be even more embarrassing for patients to see you THAT WAY. We'd like to have