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In this article (part one of a two-article piece), I, Erin Nissen Castelloe, a woman who has worked almost twenty years as a doctor, first in the practice of Family Medicine and later as a Pharmaceutical Medicine consultant, ponder the next phase of my career. In an attempt to understand myself and my experiences in medicine – and to connect with others who may share my belief that medicine (and those who practice it) must evolve in order to empower and serve – I share my personal story: the influences and idealism that led me to medicine; the best career advice I ever received (from a patient, not a doctor); my past and present frustrations with clinical medicine; my struggles to balance my personal and professional aspirations; my growing dissatisfaction with a career in Pharmaceutical Medicine; and, ultimately, my attempts to collect, sow, and cultivate ideas that may – nurtured with tinctures of time and collaboration – become strong, new branches on the magnificent tree of medicine.
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