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On Being a Doctor |

Twenty Minutes

Joseph Cavanaugh, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New York, NY 10010.


Requests for Single Reprints: Joseph Cavanaugh, MD, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 423 East 23rd Street, Primary Care Clinic, New York, NY 10010; e-mail, Joseph.Cavanaugh@med.va.gov.


Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(1):63-64. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-1-200601030-00014
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His was another name to be bellowed out across the waiting room, 1 of 13 that morning. But his name gave me pause. Ours is a large public clinic; the waiting room is commodious and always full, and the sound of normal conversation goes nowhere, dies quickly. I hollered his name, came from behind the wall, and shook his hand. He almost smiled or almost winced with our handshake and then sought refuge for his hand in a pocket that wasn't there.

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