One afternoon in the summer of 2018, Bob Gramling dropped by the small suite that serves as his lab in the basement of the University of Vermont’s medical school. There, in a grey lounge chair, an undergrad research assistant named Brigitte Durieux was doing her summer job, earphones plugged into a laptop. Everything normal, thought Bob. Then he saw her tears. Bob doesn’t balk at tears. As a palliative care doctor, he has been at thousands of bedsides and had thousands of conversa