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Travis A Benson

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Travis Benson, BS is a second year MD student at Harvard Medical School. Travis currently conducts research at the Center for Gender Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Department of Dermatology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and serves as the Student Liaison for New England Gender C.A.R.E. Travis’ areas of professional interest include transgender health, dermatology, and bioethics. Travis can be followed on Twitter.

What my former career as a pipefitter has taught me about medicine so far

“That’s just a little blue-collar ingenuity, my friend” said “Junior” as we all sat there dumbfounded. I was the foreman of a pipefitting crew at a large semiconductor plant in Oregon. Junior was a traveling pipefitter from Florida and a veteran of the trade. For the past two days, we had been racking our brains attempting to rig a difficultly large spool of pipe so that we could make a weld. Our attempts had all failed. But how? We were all certified in rigging and had done this thousands of times. Junior joined our crew earlier that day. When he saw that we were struggling, he walked over, nonchalantly, and changed our approach in a way that none of us had seen before. It worked. We had been too focused on approaching the problem from a single perspective – we were unable to take a step back and reassess our methods.

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