The Patient I Didn’t Want
Krithika Kavanoor ~
When I first met Ms. Ruiz, I was barely three months into my first year as a family-medicine resident. I was working harder than I’d ever worked before, and continually facing new challenges. I knew that I was learning, and so I persevered, but opportunities for self-doubt were abundant.
Maybe that was why Ms. Ruiz made such a big impression on me.
A middle-aged woman with a small frame and short black hair, she’d been admitted to the hospital overnight for severe abdominal pain and jaundice. Resting quietly in her bed, she listened intently to my colleague’s presentation of her case, her sharp eyes fixed on his face. I too listened carefully, and gathered that she would be with us for some time for the CT scans, blood work and other tests needed to pinpoint the cause of her symptoms.