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Driving to Work

Howard F. Stein, PhD
JAMA. 1987;258(5):687. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400050129042.
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I have learned a lot about rural medicine from behind the wheel of my car. A behavioral science teacher of family medicine, approximately 45 Fridays a year I drive from my home outside Oklahoma City to a rural residency training program in Enid, some 80 miles northwest of "The City." Awakening at 4:15 AM, I try to arrive on time for "sit down" Grand Rounds at 7:30.

Today, my 400th or so trip since beginning in 1978, anticipation is the first act upon awakening. The weather report for this early February date is for fog, light rain, and snow; the high should be in the 40s Fahrenheit. I reluctantly part the bedroom drapes; outside it looks as dismal as is forecast. But at least it is wet! The next agenda is to clear bladder and bowel for the long drive, for these roads are no interstate highway where only anonymity


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