This is what I learned from spending time shadowing patients—and being one myself.

In 1990, when I was a 26-year-old pediatrics intern fresh out of medical school, I had the privilege of working at Intermountain’s Primary Children’s Hospital for a big, gentle bear of a man named Marty Palmer. Marty was the first child protection pediatrician in the Intermountain West, as well as a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was an exceptional person and a real role model to me—smart, tremendously accepting of diversity, a master clinician. Doctors would send him their most difficult patients and ask if he could figure out what was wrong with them. Marty also seemed to mentor the most challenging (read: ...

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