Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor:
Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA;
David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library,
Journal Review Editor.
Dr Steven Hsi, a family practitioner from New Mexico, died of Takayasu
arteritis at the age of 44 years. Closing the Chart is
his account of his experiences as a patient and physician, from his initial
symptoms to his death 4 years later. As Hsi struggled to find meaning in the
midst of a rare and devastating illness, he critiqued our health system for
its failure to provide the kind of care he wished for.
The tone is set from the prologue. After a harrowing incident of unchecked
bleeding following his open-heart surgery, Hsi noted, “No doctor ever
came to my room.” Next, a vignette shows the healing value of a personal
experience with his young son, a story that would never appear in a medical
chart. “No one asked the questions that needed to be asked,” Hsi
wrote, questions about how his illness affected him and his family.
Scott S. Dying. JAMA. 2004;292(20):2526. doi:10.1001/jama.292.20.2526-a