Michael Joel Pottash, MD, MPH
Requests for Single Reprints: Michael Pottash MD, MPH, Jacobi Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Building 1, Room 3N21, 1400 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx, NY, 10461; e-mail, Michael.Pottash@nbhn.net.
Pottash MJ. The Mark of a Cane. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:792. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-11-201312030-00018
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(11):792.
“The tragedy of old age,” as Oscar Wilde writes in The Picture of Dorian Gray, “is not that one is old, but that one is young.” We inevitably age and become ill while continuing to regard ourselves as young and healthy.
In medicine, overlooking this wisdom can be a key barrier to patient care. As physicians, we know our sick patients as sick and our old patients as old, but patients tend to view themselves as vigorous and youthful.
Patients seek us out when they are sick, vulnerable, and exposed. We meet them already stripped of their individuality: lying flat in a hospital bed and clothed in the invalid's uniform. We tower over them.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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