Monthly Archives: December 2010

Chaperones for Patients?

Chaperones for Patients?

The airline passenger who refused to allow a security pat-down made national headlines quickly. The idea of a stranger touching a person’s intimate areas makes most people cringe. But something like this occurs every day in the doctor’s office.

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Gifts of the Magi: For a young doctor far from home, an unexpected present

Gifts of the Magi: For a young doctor far from home, an unexpected present

"Bitter winds churned up First Avenue and tore through the pathetically thin scrubs that Bellevue doled out to its interns. The December sky glowered the same leaden-green color of the bile that Dr. Kamal Singh was siphoning from the gut of Mr. Bill Porter, a homeless alcoholic with a Southern accent, a jauntily curled mustache…

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Solving the Health Care Crisis

Solving the Health Care Crisis

Status quo is a powerful determinant of both belief and behavior. Many of the things we do and the things we believe in transpire because they are what we have always done or believed. This is why incumbents win elections, why we always choose the same flavor of yogurt, why we take the same route…

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One-Dollar Roses

One-Dollar Roses

“One-dollar roses?” She says it with a slight inflection at the end, so that it sounds like a question. “One-dollar roses?” There is a waif-like tenderness to her throaty voice. Is she a shrewd businesswoman, or is that just the way she speaks? Either way, you can’t help but look at her. It would be…

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Merced

Merced

“This is a case of a 23 year-old Hispanic female...” The speaker droned on with the details of the case that I knew so well. I leaned back in my chair, anticipating and savoring the accolades that were going to come. After all, in a roundabout way, I’d made the diagnosis. I was the one…

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A Day in the Clinic

A Day in the Clinic

8:30 a.m. Doing intakes—interviews with new patients to the clinic. First one is Carola Castaña, a petite thirty-five-year-old Brazilian who immigrated to the United States three months ago. She folds her hands in her lap as I begin to take her history. She understands my questions better if I ask in Spanish rather than English,…

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