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February 1973

What to Do With the Bean From a Patient's Ear

Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore

Arch Intern Med. 1973;131(2):278-279. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.00320080114016

The question of what to do with a bean from a patient's ear may seem unimportant in the great scheme of present medical progress. Perhaps it is hardly worthy of attention, time, or space. However, in the coast-to-coast dialogue concerning our forthcoming national health strategy there may be room to squeeze in a few minor questions among the many monumental problems of manpower distribution, cost-benefit ratios, administration, and peer review. I hope the bean question makes it. For the systems analyst, stalking clinic halls with slide rule and clip board or checking medical productivity in the business office, the question of what to do with the bean is obvious: throw it away. However, any pediatrician and most physicians who have done a stint in an emergency room can point out that the bean question has ramifications, for not only beans, both dried and jellied, are