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On Being a Doctor |

Bruce's Choice

Charlie Goldberg, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

San Diego VA Medical Center; San Diego, CA 92037


Requests for Single Reprints: Charlie Goldberg, MD, San Diego VA Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92101; e-mail, charles.goldberg@med.va.gov.


Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(10):777-778. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-136-10-200205210-00014
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Bruce was a pain in the ass. I'm sure that his premorbid state bore little resemblance to his current condition. He had been a construction worker. Decades of smoking, however, left him tethered to an oxygen tank and in a wheelchair. His brittle and collapsed bones, washed out from years of prednisone use, supported a chronic morphine requirement but little else. He was angry and tired, our periodic encounters focusing on the difficulties of his day-to-day existence.

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