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On Being a Doctor |

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Bernard Robins, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From Lebanon, NJ 08833.


Requests for Single Reprints: Bernard Robins, MD, 32 Hunters Circle, Lebanon, NJ 08833; e-mail, berrob@patmedia.net.


Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(8):675. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-142-8-200504190-00019
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The telephone call came from the answering service at noon on a hot Wednesday in July of 1957. I had been in practice for about a month and was keeping busy making house calls for doctors on their days off or at night. This call was a request to visit a young man sick with a fever. I drove to the house, and I was met by a 15-year-old boy alone at home. His family was away for the day, and he didn't know how to reach them. He'd been well until early that same morning when he'd developed chills, fever, nausea, and a headache. My exam revealed a temperature of 101, some mild nuchal rigidity, and a few purpuric spots on the extremities that hadn't been present earlier, he reported. Several more appeared as I was examining him. I made a diagnosis of meningococcemia.

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