• “The most empathetic you’ll ever be is today,” said a weary surgical resident to me on my first day of medical school clerkships. I internally scoffed at the callousness of his statement. This was surely the greatest job in the world and he would not squash my exuberance to see patients.

    During internship, I was enchanted by emergency medicine. I was head over heels in love with the specialty. As a mentor once described emergency medicine, “You’re the doctor that steps up on the plane.” Whether it’s a newborn with a fever or an octogenarian with chest pain, we respond. Of course, I was drawn to the harrowing cases, but I reveled in the mundane. I loved that we accepted everyone at any hour and day of the week.


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