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On Being a Doctor |

My Moment

Riley Marie Bove, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114.


Requests for Single Reprints: Riley Marie Bove, MD, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114.


Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(4):270-271. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-153-4-201008170-00012
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During medical school orientation several years ago, gazing around the amphitheater, I had little suspicion that any of my svelte, youthful new classmates had experienced major illnesses. They certainly looked healthy. Few classmates wore visible signs of poor health. Instead, our new white coats symbolized not only our ability to heal patients but also a shield from what ailed them. In lectures, our professors would enforce this dichotomy between healthy physicians and sick patients: “The majority of patients in the United States are not like you: They are not healthy, wealthy, and wise.” or “None of you has this, but patients with diabetes…x.” Not only were we healthy, but we had the personal qualities necessary to remain healthy.

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