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A Piece of My Mind
April 9, 2014

Pimping Socrates

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School and Harvard Department of the Classics, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2014;311(14):1401-1402. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2155

“What’s the differential diagnosis of syncope?” the resident asked me, a third-year medical student, after I was introduced to him by the interns. He had just heard about our latest admission.

I’d anticipated this question. “We can divide causes of syncope into cardiogenic and neurogenic categories. …” I spoke until the resident interrupted me.

“And for our patient?”

I admired this resident’s insistence on a method of questioning medical students that many residents and attending physicians had abandoned. His questions continued until the interns looked on me with concern and glared disapprovingly at the resident who was “pimping” his medical student.

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