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“Is this Dr Goodwin?”
“Dr Goodwin, my name is John Fenton. I work at the coroner’s office.”
“Hello, were you aware that your patient, Mr Black, passed away yesterday?”
“My patient Mr Black?”
“Marvin Black, an 89-year-old man who lived on Elliot Street? His daughter said you were his physician.”
“I think I remember. Hold on just a second and I can get the electronic record.” Two minutes pass. “Here it is. I saw him about every 6 months; last time was about a year ago. Not a lot of medical problems. He was on drugs for blood pressure and nocturia. He had increasing trouble getting around. Very frail. How did he die?”
Goodwin JS. Heart Disease as the Number One Cause of Death Among the Elderly. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):322. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13663