“Give me the problem list.”
“…A-a-a-a-cute on chro-chro-c-chronic kidney failure. ………H-hyp-… hypo-… hyponatremia. H-h-h-h-hypomagnes-hyp-hypomagnesemia. Sepsis…”
“I don’t have time for this. Just tell me the plan.”
My stutter makes it hard for me to speak as quickly or as efficiently as people expect. To get through our morning rounds, we have to see 19 patients in 90 minutes. That is 1 patient every 4.7 minutes. He, the attending physician I am working with, has “no time for this,” and I have no time to unlock words. I know the problem list. In fact, I have rehearsed the problem list. Familiarity can loosen the lock on words and make them more acceptable. I could tell you all about the sepsis complicated by subsequent acute kidney injury and electrolyte imbalance. I could tell you about the imminent concern for seizures and cardiac arrest. But in this case, familiarity does not matter. I just cannot get it out. I keep quiet, and morning rounds march on.
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Marcum SH. No Time for This. JAMA Neurol. 2021;78(5):519–520. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.0481
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