I came across a letter I wrote to a patient while rummaging through some old files on my computer. I flashbacked to what triggered this: a response to a letter she had sent me, one that was, shall we say, extremely unflattering and quite scathing in the way she described me and our last encounter. From the letter’s tone, I sensed she held back on using more profane language to ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 78-year-old man is evaluated for symptoms of dysphagia that began 2 weeks ago. When he eats, he starts coughing after the first bite of food and occasionally has nasal regurgitation. On physical examination, blood pressure is 135/90 mm Hg, pulse rate is 78/min, and respiration rate is 12/min. Left-sided weakness is ...

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“Doctors are people too,” I once was told, by a patient no less. Sarcasm colored her choice of words, implying we doctors ought to descend from the heavens above and relate to patients like … well … people. Not a bad idea, one that humanizes the incomprehensible doctor-speak we unwittingly projectile-vomit onto our patients. Hmmm … talk to patients like one normal person to another? Easier said than done. A doctor’s ...

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A physician comments on his daughter's "implants." Brad Nieder is a physician and comedian and can be reached at the Healthy Humorist.

I have a set of wind chimes hanging from an arbor that catch my attention whenever I am out in the garden and the breeze kicks up. They were given to me by Mrs. Mary Marlboro’s niece. Mary had purchased them while in hospice with instructions for her niece to give them to me after she passed on. I had cared for Mary for several years after I removed her ...

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