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On Being a Doctor |

Quite by Chance

Michael Stillman, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From Boston University School of Medicine, Brookline, MA 02446.


Requests for Single Reprints: Michael Stillman, MD, Boston University School of Medicine, 209 Harvard Street, Suite 407, Brookline, MA 02446; e-mail, michael.stillman@bmc.org.


Ann Intern Med. 2010;152(3):192-193. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-152-3-201002020-00015
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Last month, a usually vivacious 52-year-old man came to my office for a sick visit. Ten days earlier, during a colleague's funeral, Dave had suddenly become diffusely achy and sweaty. He had gone home feeling a bit weak, had developed a dry cough and low-grade fever, and had spent the weekend in bed. As Dave was generally healthy, he hadn't sought attention for these symptoms, yet when he noted new left-sided pleuritic chest pain, a physician coworker had prescribed a 10-day course of antibiotics for presumed community-acquired pneumonia and asked him to seek formal medical consultation.

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