Since the two very sudden public suicide deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, society has again recognized that we never know what is under the surface of another’s façade. As physicians, these tragic occurrences emphasize that our caregiving requires seeing the entirety of an individual’s many parts. While we acknowledge that the façade is not fake -- it is but one true representation of an individual, well-curated, like pages on ...

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I began practicing cardiology a decade ago caring for a cadre of young adults with congenital heart disease. I got to know their families (parents often still accompanied them to office visits), and I learned about their lives in addition to their hearts.  “How do you remember the patients so well?”  trainees often asked me.  “Because I remember their story as a person and then the medical journey follows,” I ...

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We are visiting the grandparents in New York City for spring break.   Spring has been sporadic thus far, more of a series of trailers rather than the feature presentation.   The overhead warming lights and warm air greets us as we escape from the cool evening into the grandparent’s glittery apartment building.  Although this specific location is not near Times Square, it has the gold leaf on the ceiling and lights ...

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"So, that's it? Huh. Well, there's not much to say.  I didn't think I wanted it ..." "It" was a heart lung transplant.  He, my patient, was 30 years old. We had just learned that he was 100% sensitized with antibodies to any donor.  He would not be offered a transplant as he was certain to reject the precious gift of these organs.  As he would have said, his body had ...

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I was a bit nervous as I had never done this before.  I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do once I saw him.  The only certainty in my mind at that time was that this was not the Norman Rockwell image of the physician-patient encounter that I proudly displayed in my office.  He was my age, 40 years old, living on Nantucket with his wife and two ...

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