A Piece of My Mind
August 3, 2011

You Have No Idea

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison (john.frey@fammed.wisc.edu).

JAMA. 2011;306(5):469-470. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1053

While precepting in clinic one morning, I was suddenly overwhelmed with memories. The senior resident presented his management of a 30-year-old man who was there for a “checkup.” He had taken a detailed family history, reviewed the patient's health risks, and performed a focused physical examination. The patient had a new girlfriend, and they both wanted to be checked for sexually transmitted infections and screened for human immunodeficiency virus, so the resident sent him to the lab. I think the resident knew that something was up when I didn't just say “OK,” allowing him to move on to his next patient. What I wanted to say to him was “You have no idea what it was like not all that long ago.”