The interviewer smiled, gave a vague answer and followed it with a diatribe about how present-day residents have it so “easy.” How his generation had to “walk through feet and feet of snow” to get to work and how work hour restrictions did not exist. Caught off guard, I wondered what sparked such an emotional response to a common interview question.
The dispatcher called in to the emergency department to alert us that someone had collapsed in the parking lot of the hospital. The emergency medical services swiftly brought the patient in and our team surrounded him, placing lines and drawing blood. In the midst of treating him, I learned that Jones had just been released from prison where he had remained sober after years of heroin abuse.
My first patient with Alzheimer’s, Sheryll, led me on a journey of questions and self-growth which I had never expected. Until meeting her, I hadn’t thought extensively about how our biology may dictate cognition and free will. While my thoughts on the matter continue to develop as I broaden my clinical experience, these considerations continue to frame my understanding of my patients, myself and the world around me.