I never even met one of the patients who had the most enduring impact on me. I was just a fourth-year medical student on rotation with the neurosurgery service, excited to participate in a cool, complex case. At my level, I would be relegated to scrubbing in and watching. The chief resident made me feel like part of the team, though, by discussing the case with me and granting me the dubious honor of placing a catheter in the patient's bladder, a lowly but necessary task. I also took the initiative to write some orders in the chart based on what I knew the woman would need after surgery. These orders would turn out to be unnecessary.