Perspective: When the Physician Becomes a Patient

Time stopped for me instantly! The room suddenly became very quiet. Ranga felt horrible. He kept apologizing to me as if it were his fault. He completed the examination and gave me some other technical information. They asked me if I wanted them to call Lorena, whose office was just down the hall; she worked at Intercommunity Hospital in management as Director of Medical Staff Services. He offered to tell her for me. I said no, that I would tell her myself. I dressed and slowly walked to Lorena’s office.

My approach with patients is to always tell bad news within the first couple of sentences. I told Lorena, after closing the door, that it was cancerous. She embraced me and we shared an emotional moment. Soon afterward, Ranga arrived. He again apologized and the three of us shared another emotional moment. Ranga then left for his flight to Chicago, and I drove to Northridge to give my lecture.


Surgical Nurse Thursday Morning Surgical Scrub Sunday Night Guardian Angel 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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