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To walk along the water’s edge and be away from the hospital, even for a day, is relaxing. My breathing here is slower, deeper. When I look back on residency thus far, I can hardly believe how much has changed. Central lines slide into the internal jugular with ease; I slip breathing tubes just below the epiglottis and curve upwards into the vocal chords almost as often as I place a straw into a cold glass of iced tea. Puncturing the lumbar region for a sample of spinal fluid, threading a long line into the narrow radial artery, suturing a through and through lip laceration with perfect alignment – all of these have become second nature. I can remember a time, not too long ago, when they were terrifying.

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