I was at the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry on a recent morning, a beehive of industry and intelligence plopped in the middle of a blighted area where outside the walls are hustlers and addicts and down-and-outers.
I got into the elevator with a young industrious-looking man in powder blue scrubs, one of the many bright dental students buzzing around the halls in similar attire. "Is orthodontics on the second floor?" I asked, just to confirm. "Yes," he said. Then I asked if he knew whether orthodontics patients were supposed to wait for their appointments in an upstairs waiting room, or whether they should sit downstairs with the throngs in the first-floor general waiting room.
"I'm not sure," he replied. "We don't have much interaction with those guys." "Oh?" I inquired. "They're better than us," he answered with a slight chuckle. At that point we arrived at the second floor, the doors parted, and he sprinted away.
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