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[Perspectives] The experiences of a black doctor in the USA: a searing journey

During my first year as an internal medicine house officer working the overnight shift in the medical emergency room (ER) of the busiest public general hospital in Houston, TX, USA, I was assigned to care for a woman with a severe asthma exacerbation. After she had been stabilised and treated, I admitted her to the observation area of the ER. For the next 3–4 h, while scurrying around the ER caring for other patients, I would periodically pass by and wake her so as not to let her respiratory drive decline, which would lead to STAT intubation.