I reflect on The House of God at The Atlantic:
It wasn’t until years into my journey that I realized the importance of the fact that I and my fellow interns were products of the 1960s. We grew up in that unique lost period of American history — beginning with FDR and ending with Reagan — when we learned that if we saw an injustice, and got together and took action, we could bring about change. During my college years, we helped put the Civil Rights laws on the books and ended the Vietnam War. When we entered our internships we were a generation of idealistic young docs. We soon were caught in the clash between the received wisdom of the medical system, and the call of the human heart. Our patients, and we, were being treated inhumanely.
As Chuck the intern put it:
“How can we care for our patients, man, if nobody cares for us?” Read the full essay here.