Janice M. Scully, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Scully JM. Possible Stereotyping in a Personal Essay. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:134-135. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-2-201007200-00019
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(2):134-135.
TO THE EDITOR:
I am writing in response to Smythe's recent essay (1) about the interaction between himself, the chair of a department of surgery, and a black cleaning lady who was grieving the loss of her husband. I have no doubt that his efforts in writing this story were well intended. He probably wanted to increase awareness that we, as doctors, must show compassion both inside and outside the office.
I am an internist and a writer; my current focus is writing for children and young adults. I was uncomfortable with what I believe to be stereotyping in Smythe's essay, both of the woman, named Mattie, and of himself. I believe this is all too common.
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