When Breath Becomes Air

by

Paul Kalanithi

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Residency Term Analysis

A stage of graduate medical training after medical school. Physicians in this stage (known as residents) practice medicine in a hospital or clinic under the supervision of an attending physician. During residency, physicians choose a field in which to specialize. Paul completes his neurosurgery residency at Stanford, which spans seven years.

Residency Quotes in When Breath Becomes Air

The When Breath Becomes Air quotes below are all either spoken by Residency or refer to Residency. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of When Breath Becomes Air published in 2017.
Part 1 Quotes

If boredom is, as Heidegger argued, the awareness of time passing, then surgery felt like the opposite: the intense focus made the arms of the clock seem arbitrarily placed.

Related Characters: Paul Kalanithi (speaker)
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Quotes

My life had been building potential, potential that would now go unrealized.

Related Characters: Paul Kalanithi (speaker), V, Jeevan
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

Maybe, in the absence of any certainty, we should just assume that we’re going to live a long time. Maybe that’s the only way forward.

Related Characters: Paul Kalanithi (speaker)
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
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Residency Term Timeline in When Breath Becomes Air

The timeline below shows where the term Residency appears in When Breath Becomes Air. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: In Perfect Health I Begin
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...marry just after they finish medical school, and then head to California to begin their residencies: Paul at Stanford; Lucy at UCSF. Paul’s first year of residency is concerned mostly with... (full context)
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In his second year of residency, Paul is the first to arrive in an emergency. The schedule takes its toll on... (full context)
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In the middle of residency, doctors train in additional fields. Paul chooses “the most rigorous and prestigious path”—that of a... (full context)
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Paul is now in his sixth year in neurosurgical residency, which he describes as a black hole for his time. His day begins at six... (full context)
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Paul draws near the end of his residency, and he fields job interest from all over the country. He is satisfied that he... (full context)
Part 2: Cease Not till Death
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...scans and his treatments. She begins to talk about the logistics of Paul returning to residency, but Paul stops her, believing that he will never return to the hospital as a... (full context)
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...affect Paul’s sperm. The two had planned on having kids at the end of Paul’s residency, but the uncertainty of Paul’s future also creates uncertainty about whether they should have children. (full context)
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Seven months after Paul returns to surgery, he takes another CT scan—his last before finishing residency and becoming a father. The CT tech once again offers Paul a look at his... (full context)