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A Piece of My Mind
April 21, 2010

For Those on Whom We Rely

JAMA. 2010;303(15):1458-1459. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.452

Five months ago Deb—my office manager—developed pain in her right armpit. It was initially mild, yet over a course of weeks it had become severe enough that she had difficulties with typing and filing. I never pried nor insisted that she be seen by her physician, and Deb is so accustomed to minimizing her own concerns—so reluctant to “bother a doctor”—that she did not seek formal consultation until quite recently. One month ago she visited her primary care physician and was prescribed a ten-day course of ibuprofen. Two weeks ago she saw a physiatrist, who ordered magnetic resonance imaging—a study that was ultimately canceled.

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