The staff was concerned that she came to the office without her interpreter.
How would we communicate? How would I assess her symptoms?
“Should we get a translator from the hospital?” they asked.
I knew this patient well. I had done battle with rogue circuits in her left atrium more than once. I could even remember the fractions of the fractionated potentials–the squiggles of the squiggly line. I could recall my body’s joyous sensations when burning that precarious ridge of heart muscle steadied her heart’s rhythm.
“Got it,” we say.
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*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
By Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD
If asked what a doctor does, most people would probably come up with the standard description of diagnosing and treating disease, usually while wearing an ill-fitting white coat. Before I entered practice, even during my medical training that probably would have been my answer too.
But my years in the trenches of real medicine have altered that definition greatly. I do spend time doing the things I learned in medical school like diagnosing disease and writing prescriptions, but that turns out to be only a part of the job, often a very small part.
Much of the time I find myself acting as sounding board. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*