The call from the neurosurgical resident came at 4 am. He had just gotten off the telephone with the patient’s family–they were struggling with the decision to proceed with emergency surgery and wanted me to help them decide.
I had known the patient for more than 20 years. I had not seen him in recent years because it was difficult for him to travel to my office, but I had continued to care for his wife and, over those 20 years, had treated several other family members. I became, if not the “family physician,” then the “family medical consultant,” fielding calls seeking my advice on every medical issue they faced from pneumonia to dementia.
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Nash IS. Hail Mary. JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(2):159. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.3950
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