A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
"What will I do without you?" Mrs M cried as she asked me if it was true
that I was retiring. Although I have never raised the issue of my retirement
with any of my patients, this question and others like it have cropped up.
And, of course, as I get older the questions are more frequent and more reality
Mrs M has been my patient and I her physician for 35 years. When I first
saw her in March 1967, she was living with her husband and 2 daughters with
her parents nearby. All but her older daughter are now gone: her husband with
metastatic colon cancer, her daughter at age 19 from a perforated ulcer while
taking prednisone for rheumatoid arthritis. Her parents died of heart disease:
her father at 88, her mother at 90. Mrs M cared for all of them and they were
all my patients.
Joel H. Merenstein. What Will I Do Without You?. JAMA. 2002;288(15):1823–1824. doi:10.1001/jama.288.15.1823