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On Being a Doctor |

Who Was Caring for Mary?

Frederick Southwick, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610. Requests for Reprints: Frederick Southwick, MD, Infectious Disease Section, University of Florida College of Medicine, Box 100277, Gainesville, FL 32610.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1993;118(2):146-148. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-118-2-199301150-00011
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An academic physician gives a personal account of his wife's progressive deterioration during her hospitalization at a university medical center. He encounters physicians who are too distracted by other academic pursuits to care adequately for his wife. Her hospital course is complicated by bilateral pulmonary emboli, which occur during inadequate heparin therapy and are followed by myocardial infarction, shock, and the adult respiratory distress syndrome. His experience exemplifies the importance of closely supervised care. He calls on the leaders of academic medical centers to make excellence in patient care a top priority and recommends that clinical as well as research skills be rewarded.

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