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[Perspectives] Saving the professionalism course

Sitting around a long table, a group of medical students and I are hard at work, thinking about and discussing Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. The narrative is disarming and intense, spanning 5 days in a war-torn Chechnya during which two cultural enemies, made friends through tragedy, unite to rescue an orphaned young girl. As we talk, we recreate the story from different perspectives: the Russian physician; the Chechen doctor-turned-artist-turned-doctor; the father of the orphan before his execution; and the orphan herself.