I began practicing as an internist/nephrologist in the early 1960s. Having rented an office in Los Angeles, I introduced myself to the local medical community and set out to build a practice. With a growing family, a mortgage and an office to support, I was hungry for patients. Hospital emergency rooms were good referral sources, so I took ER call at three different hospitals. Late one Friday night, I got a call ...

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I always warn my medical students to be careful what they say in front of patients, or patients' families or friends. "You never know who's listening!" I add. They may think that I'm exaggerating — but I have my reasons. Early in my career as an internist/nephrologist, if I had a free moment, I'd head for the emergency room. I might get a referral, and the coffee and conversation were usually ...

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When I finished my medical training almost sixty years ago, I was like many new graduates: I thought I knew it all. I opened a private office in Los Angeles and paid courtesy calls on the local physicians to let them know my qualifications and my availability for consultation, as both an internist and a nephrologist. (The treatment of kidney disease was then in its infancy, and I was the area's ...

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