Dr. Pauline Chen, a transplant surgeon, found out early in her medical training that it was difficult for her to face death and that her professors and colleagues had learned to suppress their emotional reactions to their patients' mortality. Throughout her continued training and her well-regarded career, Chen has tried to resist the medical profession's practice of denial and emotional disengagement from patients. In Final Exam
, she describes her experiences dealing with human mortality, starting with a cadaver she dissected in medical school and continuing through recent experiences with care for the dying. While noting that attitudes within the medical profession are changing, she argues thoughtfully and with passion for more empathy among hospital practitioners and clinicians.