Graduation week alone should be more than enough to consume me, with its good-byes, fond remembrances, and the commencement of a grand and challenging career.

But add to the mix the ups and downs of apartment hunting, furniture shopping, trying to find a home for my cat and my car, a bachelor party in Cancun, and making sure I'm sufficiently overexposed, in print and on TV. I've got a full plate.

It's been over three months since I've seen a patient, and I'm missing it. This weekend our class heard some speeches about the privilege and noble duty of medicine, of treating the sick. Among the things that have stayed with me is a talk honoring a faculty member who passed recently. The speaker said:

"She was so enthusiastic about connecting with patients, really, deeply connecting. She sometimes called those encounters 'Level 5 Interactions' -- I have no idea what that means but it sounded really intense."

I think I know what she was talking about (and it's not hospital billing codes).

I think I need those kinds of encounters to stay grounded. I sometimes worry if that's pathological, but frankly, there's more pathology in the extremely fun but ultimately superficial interactions that have preoccupied me since I got back from Greece.

Our graduating seniors take the Oath of Maimonides, and the excerpt below seems particularly relevant:

The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate me at all time; may neither avarice nor miserliness, nor thirst for glory or for a great reputation engage my mind; for the enemies of truth and philanthropy could easily decieve me and make me forgetful of my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children.

I'm very, very lucky to be in medicine, and to have such family and friends.