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On Being a Doctor |

Joan's Education

Maryann Overland, BA
[+] Article and Author Information

From University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14620.


Requests for Single Reprints: Maryann Overland, 135 Oakland Street, Rochester, NY 14620; e-mail, Maryann_Overland@URMC.Rochester.edu.


Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(10):777-778. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-10-200605160-00014
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There was a wad of bubblegum stuck to the upper right corner of Joan's windshield. From the looks of it, the gum had seen better days. Baked-on greasy streaks ran from the pink blob to the dashboard and told of countless seasons of climatic abuse. Every morning as she climbed into her 1993 Volvo, Naugahyde seat cracking and groaning under her increasing weight, Joan cursed her ex-boyfriend and made a mental note to clean the gum off the glass when she got home. As she buckled her seat belt, she noticed the roll of fat creeping over her formerly slim waistline and made the second, soon-to-be-broken promise of the young day: to get some exercise. But time passed and the wad of gum, like any good piece of performance art, continued to evolve. Joan viewed it as a daily reminder of her shortcomings. Her body became softer, doughier, and the lines around her eyes only hinted at the degree of her weariness.

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