I walk up to the ICU. Ecstatic.

I just placed a subclavian line, a chest tube, and performed a bronchoscopy on my patient. Intern year is going well, and today is a great day.

For me.

I have been learning so much, been trusted to do even more, and been a part of gratifying experiences. Successes. Life-changing procedures. Things that still make me sit in awe that we can transform the human body, alter physiology, and still have good outcomes. It is a good day.

For me.

As I walk into the ICU, I see an old man — likely well into his 70s, judging by his pronounced wrinkles and magnetic gait — with tears in his eyes, sucking in air, walking as fast as he can to the exit, silently sobbing.

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