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On Being a Doctor |

Doctor and Son

C. Gregory Elliott, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From Intermountain Medical Center at the University of Utah, Murray, UT 84107.


Requests for Single Reprints: C. Gregory Elliott, MD, Intermountain Medical Center, 5121 South Cottonwood Street, Suite 307, Murray UT 84107; e-mail, greg.elliott@imail.org.


Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(1_Part_1):64-65. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-156-1-201201030-00016
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Dad was weak and disoriented. His skin was mottled and cool. His blood pressure was dangerously low, and he was not making much urine. Were his doctors and nurses paying attention? Did they know if he was septic? Had they left the lines in too long? I was alarmed, but I stayed on the sideline, concerned and vigilant.

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My Doctor's Bag
Posted on February 16, 2012
Hugh, Mann, Physician
Eagle Rock, Mo 65641
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

Like all medical school graduates, I received a free monogrammed doctor's bag from the pharmaceutical industry. In time, my bag wore out, and I gave it to my father to hold his tools.

As a machinist, carpenter, and home gardener, my father made good use of my bag; and sometimes he pretended that he was a doctor making house calls.

Although my father never went to college and didn't understand medicine, he did understand that the body is a machine that needs nutritious fruits and vegetables which can be grown at home.

It took me many years of study and practice to understand what my father intuitively understood. I wish that my medical education had included courses from practical-minded, plain-spoken, earthy people like my father.

Let's learn to appreciate such people, because they have much to offer those of us with more knowledge than common sense.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

It is a wise father that knows his own child (Merchant of Venice)
Posted on February 20, 2012
Hugh, Mann, Physician
Eagle Rock, Mo 65641
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

Share and share alike. These wise words mean that good fortune should be shared with others. But bad fortune should also be shared. As an elderly man, my father taught me a poignant lesson in sharing bad fortune. As a physician with chronic health problems, I told my father that I was so determined to improve healthcare, that I was willing to walk on hot coals. My father stunned me by replying that he would like to walk on the hot coals before me, just to cool them off. By trumping my metaphor and sharing my burden, my father's self-sacrificial sympathy became his eloquent legacy of loyalty and love. Wise, loving fathers are a gift from God.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

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