Medicine

For content related to the science and practice of medicine

Memo to my successor

You are about to have the honor and great pleasure of working with a group of patients I have come to know and respect over the years. While I cannot tell you how to practice medicine, I feel no reluctance to tell you what made it so worthwhile for me.  

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The weather delay

Some of the best and most unexpected moments I’ve had in medicine have involved children.

Sitting on her mother’s lap while I elicited the story of her illness, this particular three year old had seemed relaxed, social and quite articulate. Taking a cue from how attached she seemed to be to Mom and her obvious unusual maturity for age, I tried to be clever when it came time for the exam. “Do you want your Mom to help you up onto the table so I can check your ears and lungs, or are you big and strong enough to do it yourself.”

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The knee injury

The computer generated routing slip on the exam room door said he was there because of a knee injury. That turned out to be only partly true.

 

When I entered the room, he was sitting comfortably on the exam table. I introduced myself, we shook hands, and as I sat down at the computer to open the EHR to his chart, I started with my usual fairly open-ended question:

Me: So, what brings you in today and how can I help?

Him: I hurt my knee this past weekend. (Note: this was a Wednesday.)

Me: Tell me about it.

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