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PORTLAND, OR — Third year medical student Zain Mandvi didn’t get what he bargained for when he confessed his dream residency program to his attending.

“She just wished me the best of luck,” said Mandvi, “and asked me to tell her if she could help in any way.”

Mandvi was expecting to be told that it was a subhuman specialty, a huge sacrifice in time, pay, or meaning. But, like other medical students, he was not prepared to encounter a physician with such a brazen disregard for his existential masochism, someone whose own happiness was so shamelessly independent of that of others.

This is not the first time Mandvi found his attending’s behavior concerning, citing instances where she answered his questions instead of hurling them back at him, spoke kindly of patients before meeting them, and even once asked Mandvi to talk about his interests outside of medicine.

“Frankly,” he confessed, “I’ve only arrived at my decision as a result of the constant abuse of all my other preferences by my mentors. If she doesn’t hate my answer, how will I know that I’ve made the wrong choice?”

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