As I thumbed through an issue of JAMA, I was startled to see Jim's name in the obituaries. With my eyes riveted to the page, intuitively I knew the cause of death.
Jim (not his real name) had been one of my closest friends throughout medical school, from the early days of gross anatomy to the long hours of overnight call on an active obstetrical service in our last year. He often described the stresses he felt in those early years, traveling home more than 100 miles on weekends to visit his girlfriend, later his fiancée, while struggling with a rigorous curriculum. I remember his happiness after he finally married. After graduation he and his wife remained our friends and neighbors over the course of our rotating internship.
We finished internship during the Vietnam conflict. During this time, most physicians who entered military service did so immediately after internship or