Pamela sits on the examining-room stool, looking at me expectantly.
I am in my first year of medical school. I do as I’ve been told to do in Medical Skills class: I observe my patient–without judgment or assumptions–and try to figure out what questions to ask, based on the information I am given.
Pamela has curly, strawberry-blonde hair and looks to be thirty, just a few years older than me. Her infant son lies in a carrier beside her.
Dr. Clark, whom I’m shadowing, has just given Pamela osteopathic manipulative therapy for her chronic headaches. Now the doctor is treating Pamela’s older son, age seven, for back pain; he fell off the school jungle gym a few days ago.
All three patients–mother, son and infant–are wearing red: a red tank-top on the mom, a red t-shirt for the son and a red blanket for the baby.