I've never trusted ophthalmologists who don't wear glasses, or dentists with perfect teeth. 

I mean, how can someone with perfect vision understand what it's like to be nearsighted? And, how do you describe a toothache to someone who’s never had a cavity? 

When Dartmouth Medicine Magazine offered me a chance to interview doctors who had been severely injured or sicker than many of their patients, I jumped at the chance. It’s no exaggeration to say that the resulting story changed my life. I met some of the most amazing people, and will never again assume a doctor doesn’t understand my pain, or fear, or embarrassment.

See what you think:

The nightmare runs like this: One minute you're schussing down a black-diamond ski trail, and the next you can't feel anything south of your neck. Or one minute you're stepping out of the shower to get ready for a big date, and the next, as you glance at yourself in the mirror, you gasp. What is that lump?

Every day, physicians see patients who have actually lived bad dreams like these. That's their job. But what happens when a physician experiences the nightmare?

For the full story, go to http://dartmed.dartmouth.edu/spring07/html/stethoscope.php