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On Being a Doctor |

Learning Medicine through the Closet Door

J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Harborview Medical Center; Seattle, WA 98104 (Curtis)

Requests for Reprints: J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, Box 359762, 325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104.

Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(6):470-471. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-131-6-199909210-00014
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The year was 1986. I was on my first rotation as a third-year medical student. It was 7 p.m. on my first night on-call. I had picked up my patient for the night: a 35-year-old woman with a long history of type 1 diabetes who had suffered many of the ravages of that disease. As I leaned over Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine in the team room trying to figure out what else to write in my admission note, the intern received a call about an admission coming from an outside hospital. The patient was a 42-year-old gay man who presented to a community hospital with a headache and stiff neck. A spinal tap revealed fungal meningitis, which, at that time, was very unusual. The community hospital was transferring the patient to the university hospital where I was in training.





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