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Editor's Commentary on 'I Need You'

 , October 03, 2014

“I want to help others,” reads the personal essay accompanying nearly every application to medical school, nursing school, PA school, in subtext if not explicitly.  But what is it that we crave in return?  As Elmer-DeWitt so eloquently traces the arc of a clinician-patient relationship, we watch the progress through multiple hurdles and setbacks (“her second small bowel obstruction”), growth in training (“my third year surgery rotation”), and the next phase of care (“I called every four days once she went home”).  When she is no longer Ms. B’s “surgeon friend,” does it change who she is as a caregiver?  How much, how very much, our patients give us in return.

Becky MacDonell-Yilmaz