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On Being a Doctor |


Eric Michael David, MD, JD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Columbia University; New York, NY 10021

Requests for Single Reprints: Eric Michael David, 77 Bleecker Street, #332, New York, NY 10012; e-mail, emd11@columbia.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(1):68-69. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-137-1-200207020-00018
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It happens about once or twice a year, I'd say, and always takes me completely by surprise. I'm usually walking along a very crowded street—across Grand Street on a Friday night or down Madison Avenue at rush hour. I see someone with long, curly blond hair. She has a soft face that I cannot quite make out, but I recognize her posture, her walk, her sense of style. “ Meg!” I say to myself. Meg was one of the most special people I have ever known, one of those people who watches you grow up just as astutely as you watch them grow up … a student of all the changes in your life. She died the summer I turned 21. She had just turned 24. And every time this happens, every time I think I catch a glimpse of Meg on the streets of Manhattan, there is a moment—literally, it can't be more than a tenth of a second—where I think, “Jesus! I have not seen her in ages! I have so, so much to tell her.” And that moment is almost as dense with excitement as it is with memories. It is a glorious moment, despite the fact that it ends with the realization, “Well, obviously that is not Meg, because Meg is dead.”





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