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A Piece of My Mind
August 7, 2013

A Handshake

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery, Department of Surgery, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
JAMA. 2013;310(5):481. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8353

I grab the chart from the bin outside the door, and walk directly into the consultation room. The patient sits in the room composedly, despite the fact that I am running late. He’s here for the surgical portion of a kidney transplant evaluation. He is a big man with an East African accent, dressed in a long earth-tone African shirt and matching pants. I introduce myself and apologize for being late. As we shake hands, I notice, almost in passing, that his grip is not as strong as it should be, and he moves his shoulder awkwardly to meet my hand. I sit down and quickly scan his chart.

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