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Surgical Reminiscence
May 05, 2004

Pseudohermaphroditism

Arch Surg. 2004;139(5):567-568. doi:10.1001/archsurg.139.5.567

During late April of my internship in 1967, one of my fellow interns approached me in the emergency department excitedly and indicated he had a patient that we needed to see together. He explained that he felt his patient likely had pseudohermaphroditism but was previously undiagnosed. He based this on the patient's feminine features and thyromegaly. Clearly my fellow resident was in a "hey, look at this" mode. Because this was approximately the 55th day of the 60-consecutive-day emergency department rotation completed by all interns at the City of Memphis Hospital, Memphis, Tenn, I was somewhat less than enthusiastic. Most of us felt we had already seen almost everything you could see by this point in the rotation. After all, I had made the decision to pursue a surgical career and individuals with pseudohermaphroditism were not, to my knowledge, in need of correction by a general surgeon. My fellow intern insisted that he wanted someone else to complete the examination with him as he had thus far only done a cursory examination including the head, neck, and skin.

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