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On Being a Doctor |

Final Visit

Elizabeth Toman, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Albuquerque, NM 87108.


Requests for Single Reprints: Elizabeth Toman, MD, 1501 San Pedro Drive Southeast, Albuquerque, NM 87108; e-mail, elizabethtoman@msn.com.


Ann Intern Med. 2010;152(11):749-750. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-152-11-201006010-00014
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They weep when I tell them I am leaving. Mrs. Aguilar and her sister both dab at their eyes with the rough paper towels I offer them. The box of tissues is missing from the examination room, a sign that the day will not go well. Weeping is another. These goodbyes are slowing me down, and I have a full schedule today.

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Boundaries and a long career?
Posted on June 3, 2010
Stephen R Workman
QEII HSC Halifax NS
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

Dr Toman's essay demonstrates the importance of physicians, especially caring ones--as she so clearly is--developing effective skills in time management and boundary setting.

These skills are not automatically acquired and are an integral but almost universally overlooked aspect of medical training. Failure to effectively care for one's self and manage relationships and time constraints effectively can result in the loss of truly dedicated and caring physicians from the profession.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

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