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A Piece of My Mind
March 1, 2006

You Can't Unring a Bell

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2006;295(9):977-978. doi:10.1001/jama.295.9.977

I am writing this while in the family lounge outside the operating rooms at the university hospital. Rather than sitting in the corner with the pensive and morose look peculiar to such settings, I’m tapping briskly on a keyboard. Just one more example of my difficulty in reconciling my roles as physician and father.

Several weeks ago our 25-year-old daughter, Sarah, called to tell us she had a discharge from her nipple, intermittently for several months. (I am grateful to her for her review of, and permission to publish, this piece.) The discharge was occasionally blood-tinged, mostly serous, and seemed fairly low risk, probably a benign papilloma. As it turned out, it was. I found it easy and convenient, then, to be concerned as a father and to provide guidance as a physician at the same time.