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Two Worlds Collide

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 6:36am
Bruce Campbell, MD

There’s a consult downstairs, Campbell. Go check it out and I’ll catch up with you later.”  

“Sure, OK.” I was a third-year medical student fumbling through my first clinical rotations. The resident headed off to whatever he needed to accomplish and I trotted down the back stairwell. I glanced at the consultation slip and found the patient’s room number.  

56-year-old man with progressive medical problems. Please evaluate for central line placement.  

Not much information. The man was on the General Medicine ward and needed a more permanent intravenous line to avoid having to put a new IV in his hand every day or two. Arranging for the new line would be our job.  

I reached the ward and found the chart that matched the room number. As I started flipping through the chart, I froze. “I might know him,” I realized.  

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