Honestly, I was never cut out to be a pathologist.
It’s true that I have a strong eye for pattern recognition of rare tumors. And I’ve got enough OCD-ishness to avoid most of the million tiny and galactic mistakes that haunt pathologists without OCD traits.
But I lack the bluster for the job.
It turns out that bluster, the gift of feeling and sounding 100% certain when you’re only 99, is the key to tolerating a profession where people’s lives are in your hands.
And that gift of pseudo-certainty makes surgeons and colleagues think you’re good, even if you’re not.
The people who thought I was an outstanding general pathologist were the few pathologists who consulted with me on most of their own tough cases. Plus maybe every cytotechnologist I ever worked with.
And my wife and kids who are completely unbiased.
When the stress from outside work escalated and combined with on-the-job stress, I reached critical mass inside. I was done. Cooked.
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