There are many definitions of the word advocate. At my desk now is the Pocket Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition, 2008. It states that an advocate is “a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy” as its first elucidation. Its second definition is “a person who pleads a case on someone else’s behalf.” Finally, the dictionary states that an advocate is a “Scottish term for barrister.” As physician anesthesiologists, we often meet the first two of these characterizations. There are even a few among us who are also Doctors of Jurisprudence, and they could easily ascribe to all three definitions.

Follow along as I attempt to explain myself. First, let’s start with “Physician Anesthesiologist.” When I first heard this term, “Physician Anesthesiologist,” I thought to myself that anesthesiologists are physicians, by...

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