fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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Tim Sanborn

Balancing Parenting with Medicine

I still recall fond memories of when I, a busy, young cardiologist, was invited to teach my daughter’s kindergarten class. These eager, young learners were enthralled when they first heard their own hearts go “lub-dub” using my stethoscope. It was also heartwarming to see the excitement in their eyes as they watched a portable blood pressure gauge pulsating with each heartbeat as I demonstrated how to check a blood pressure.

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Going in Peace

All too often in my forty years of practicing medicine, I’ve seen patients die hard, lonely deaths—lying on a stretcher under the emergency department’s glaring lights, or all alone in an ICU bed.

In extreme situations, the patient is covered in medical equipment: a breathing tube in the mouth, defibrillator pads on the chest, monitor leads on the torso, IV lines dangling from the neck and arms. When family members finally enter the room, it’s heart-wrenching to see them weep over their loved one, to whom they never got to say goodbye.

But it doesn’t always happen this way.

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Q&A: The COVID-19 Vaccine

“How are you surviving the COVID-19 pandemic?”

Lately, this is my new opening question with patients who come for a routine office visit. As a cardiologist in a community-hospital setting, I see mostly elderly patients.

When I ask my patients this question as they sit on the exam table wearing their brightly colored masks, they usually answer, “I don’t go out much. When I do, I wear a mask and practice social distancing.”

In recent weeks, they’ve begun asking me questions–about the COVID-19 vaccine. Having just received the vaccine myself, I can describe the experience firsthand.

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