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When my niece was three years old, I told her to go hide. She turned around and laughed, certain that if she couldn’t see me then, she too, must be concealed. 

A flashback to medical school: 6:00 a.m. surgery rounds. Pimping or, in proper terms, the Socratic method. My kryptonite.

As questions speed around the circle, I envision my feet fixing to the aged linoleum, an invisibility cloak enclosing my frame. Always one question away from being exposed. Certain that I am the only one of 150 third-year medical students who snuck through a crack in the wall that was erected to allow only the top students into this medical school. Young, African-American, female. My only hope is to coast just under the radar. “Tracy, what labs do you need to check when…” No such luck.

Today, I welcome patients presenting with a kaleidoscope of ills into my office. I speak to their pain, accepting an invitation into their world, hoping to send them away with a measure of hope and healing. But, every once in a while, I remember my cloak tucked away in the back of my closet. Just in case. 

Tracy Asamoah
Austin, Texas