A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.
It never occurred to me that the man who came to see me when I was sick
was anything other than my family's physician. Being sick gave me the honored
comfortable spot on the sofa in what we called our living room. There, I waited
expectantly for his house call. My mother always drew the shades to dim the
room and there was quiet until he came.
The pattern was repeated often over the years. He did not elicit much
in the way of a history, usually just the "chief complaint": "He's hot" or
"His head hurts" or "His neck is swollen." The only pause before he sat beside
me on the edge of the sofa was to wet a tongue blade because he knew I gagged
very easily and he said it would help. (It never seemed to me that it did.)
Seidel HM. A Man of His Words. JAMA. 2002;288(12):1445-1446. doi:10.1001/jama.288.12.1445