"I need your red bag."

The preceptor barked an order from a desk at the Houston testing center where I'd just completed a grueling nurse practitioner board exam. For me, the national exam was the culmination of eight years of study and sacrifice. It also represented evidence of excellent education from several outstanding American schools, MDs and established nurse practitioners.

"Sir! Your red bag?"

The preceptor wasn't being unreasonable. She was just doing a high-stress job the way she was taught. Just like me — like all of us — she had a life outside that center. A significant other. Children. Parents. Siblings.

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