An older nurse in the elevator just now said, “Are you a resident, too?” “No, still a medical student.” She shook her head. “All these young faces – baby faces! I just met one, she’s only 27, she’s going to be a resident for three years. How old are you?” She was astonished by the answer.

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Yesterday the family of the woman in labor kept referring to me as the doctor. I figured, since I’d introduced myself clearly, and mentioned my status once or twice since, I was not morally obligated to correct them every time they said that.

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This morning, walking to the parking garage, I heard someone calling, “Nurse! Nurse!” They meant me, of course. I went and helped, without explaining.

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I answer to everything from nurse to doctor, and console myself with the fact that one day I will be a real, live, grown-up doctor. Fourth year is good, but it’s even more of a limbo/no-man’s-land than third year was. And even when I’m a surgeon, I’m sure there will still be lots of people who assume that a girl as young-looking as I am must be a nurse or a student. I love nurses; but I’m starting to be just a little bit tired of being taken for one.

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