Every August, at medical schools across the country, fresh, enthusiastic "lay people" pack into orientation meetings eager to start learning how to think and act like doctors. First-year medical students arrive with a basic understanding of the attitudes and behaviors valued by the profession. They recognize the importance of knowledge, honesty, confidentiality, and respect for the patient. What is not as well understood at this earliest level of training is how these lofty ideals apply to the day-to-day life of a medical student. This month's issue explore the process of socialization and professionalization in medical school.