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On Being a Doctor |

Death in Springtime

Lawrence Smith, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Mount Sinai School of Medicine; New York, NY 10029 Requests for Reprints: Lawrence Smith, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 118, New York, NY 10029-6574.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(11):955. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-128-11-199806010-00019
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An expression of shocked grief, a phone thrust into my hands, and the words falling on disbelieving ears: “She won't be at work tomorrow. She's dead.” An accident had cut short the life of one of my interns. The story was tragic: last day of vacation, bags packed, a friend waiting at the hotel, and one final jog before a long flight home. A speeding car, a distracted runner, and an unfamiliar city combined to produce massive injuries; an ambulance rescue; intensive resuscitation; respirator support; and, ultimately, recognition of brain death. With her stunned parents at her bedside, the machines were stopped, and she left us.





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