When I graduated from residency, I was too worried about killing my first few patients to examine the meaning of being an attending physician. An early patient, a 97-year-old retired doc, brought it to my attention. “Being an attending physician means you attend. When you attend me, all I want you to do is show up. You do not have to do anything. Keep the people with needles, knives, and nonsense away from ...

Read more...

Dr. Ryme had been retired at least thirty years from medicine when he met me, his last pupil. I was a freshly minted doctor, and he became the first teacher of a new course at my new school called “Life as an Independent Doctor.” At our first office visit, after telling me his life story, he quizzed me, “And furthermore, Dr. Braun, you’re an attending physician now. You are no longer ...

Read more...

I saw Kaitlin (identifying information changed) and her husband Brandon seven days before she died. Kaitlin's cancer had been in remission at our last visit, but this day she looked awful. I estimated she had less than three months to live. As I think being surprised by death is unhelpful, I decided to test whether they were prepared to take on bad news by mentioning that she didn't look like ...

Read more...

I made my 10:20 a.m. patient wait while I told my support staff about my day off. "I was getting an ice cream when I saw a car accident. By the time I got there, it was clear that there were no serious injuries and all I did was to distract the passenger so she wouldn't panic while we waited for EMS. Her husband hit a tree with their van, and ...

Read more...

1 Pages

Most Popular

Join 150,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.