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A Piece of My Mind
February 1, 2012

A Doctor’s Kid

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (brakescribe@cox.net).

JAMA. 2012;307(5):465-466. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.38

Standing beside my father's bed in a cramped, makeshift intensive care unit, listening to his Cheyne-Stokes respirations, I realized that he had certainly rounded on hundreds of patients in this very room. The old hospital, like the not-so-old man in the bed, was nearing the end of its useful life. The room still bore an antique wooden louvered half-door, and you almost expected to see a grainy black-and-white Lew Ayres as Young Dr. Kildare hurrying through the narrow halls. My father had trained here, at mid-century, and he had driven back here to die, just months before its staff and patients were to move a mile east to a shiny new 1970s facility.

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