To Care and to Provide Care
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When I first started medical school, I expected my days to be filled with learning new things. I expected to relearn things I had forgotten and to understand why concepts I had previously learned were the way they were through the lens of a bigger, fuller picture. Empathy was one of the first tenets I picked up. I remember sitting in an orientation, my hip-length, freshly-pressed white coat over the black dress I had chosen for the occasion, and the coat emblazoned with my first and last name and my middle initial. The speaker had my heart strings in his hand.
He was a septuagenarian by my estimation—warm and amiable; the kind of physician I admired. He talked about the importance of truly caring about our patients as we cared for them, and it was fitting for me to be reminded of what I already knew and believed and yearned to practice. Crossing the stage later that day at our White Coat Ceremony, I repeated the word empathyunder my breath as I was officially coated, the white coat...