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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

In Practice

The difference between doctors and nurses

When I was 8 years old, I had an emergency appendectomy in a small county hospital near the summer camp I attended. I have a vague memory of the camp doctor who examined me briefly and decided that I needed surgery, and no memory at all of the doctor who performed the operation.

I do remember, in detail, decades later, the camp nurse who sat by my bedside until the doctor arrived, and the nurses on the children’s ward who brought me 7-Up with a bendable straw, and checked my incision, and told me I would be OK.

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