Thursday, August 05, 2004


On my way to meet Nathalie for dinner, I saw a boy on a bicycle run head-on into the side of a pickup truck. The truck was pulling out into traffic, and the boy apparently made no decision to look before entering the intersection. The boy was riding at such a speed that he flew off his bicycle and ran into the truck, chin first. Hearing the sound of flesh hitting metal was horrifying.

In disbelief, I witnessed the driver of the pickup speed off. Then the boy picked himself off of the road, got back on his bike, and pedaled off as well. I hesitated, trying to figure out if I should get out of my car and examine the boy, but he was already gone. Befuddled, I snapped out of my air of confusion as the driver behind me pressed on his horn. The light was green and I needed to go.

It took several hours for my mind to process those events, trying to figure out who was at fault, whether I should have followed the boy and examined him, and if doing so was a social responsibility that I've accepted by becoming a physician. And if so, did I fail at my task that day?