What I Learned in Medical School: Personal Stories of Young Doctors is a collection of 22 autobiographical stories by medical students and recent medical graduates who attempt to share their experiences in medical school. Several of the stories follow the structure of a personal reflection that leads quickly and simply to a quick and simple lesson. Others are more complex. Linda Palafox, a pseudonymous writer, discusses, in "My Secret Life," her struggle with alcoholism. Hers is a deeply humble story, and a generous reminder that the conditions of life that clinicians treat are also those that clinicians live. In another story, "Parasympathizing," one of the book's editors, Kevin M. Takakuwa, writes about his difficult confrontation in medical school with an academic arena that seems to him impersonal and competitive. He writes, "I was caught between a desperate urge to escape and a stubborn refusal to quit." Emotional incentives exist for both. David Marcus, in his contribution, comes close to having the decision made for him by his school administrators, who nearly expel him for poor performance and whose insensitivity to Marcus's disabilities clarifies that the absence of compassion leads consequently to the expression of cruelty. His story teaches that more empathy is needed, not only in the clinic but also in the classroom.