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A Piece of My Mind
February 14, 2001

Tactile

Author Affiliations
 

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(6):703. doi:10.1001/jama.285.6.703

The small conference room was jammed with white coats, short and long: medical students, interns, residents, fellows. Beepers chirped, seats quickly emptied and filled. This was in the new wing of the old hospital—sleekly modern, white-tiled, air-conditioned. Fluorescent lights dimmed for the weekly 8 AM echocardiography conference.

I stood rather self-consciously in the back of the room. The video images were magnified on a large monitor, the shadows described in great detail by the cardiologist and interpreted with an anatomic precision that was reassuring. My mind wandered: I thought of World War II submarines navigating through oceans of predators and prey by sonar so long ago. The beeps, the small circular screens with green geometric patterns, the tension of danger. I then thought of the startling advances in medical technology, leaving much of medical practice in its wake.

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