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Playing a Hunch

Amy Crawford-Faucher ~

There’s one thing about being a family doctor: After a while, almost every patient you see is a familiar face. This can be a blessing or a curse, but mostly it’s a blessing.

This morning I’m in my office, reviewing today’s patients with Julia, the medical student rotating in our office.

I’m especially looking forward to my 10:30 appointment. It’s the first checkup for a newborn girl named Ella.

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At Day’s End

Marc Tumerman

This is a story of two deaths. That these patients’ stories intersected on the same morning, in the same building, in two adjacent rooms, has left me thinking about them now that the day is almost done.

I was surprised to see Mrs. Stevens’ name on my schedule today. She came to the office last week, and I felt sure that she’d be too weak for another visit. But I was glad

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A Mother’s Son

Hugh Silk

“Why do you want to go into family medicine?” my internal-medicine preceptor asked.

It was an innocent enough question. I’d known from day one of medical school what I wanted to do, so I answered with confidence, and perhaps a bit of a chip on my shoulder.

“I love being with people and getting to know them,” I said. “I’ve always been this way, so it makes sense that’s what

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What Money Can Buy

Hind Almazeedi

Arwa arrives late to the clinic. Her husband is parked outside waiting for her.

“You missed your last two appointments,” I say, checking her records. It’s been four months.

“I didn’t have a ride,” she shrugs.

Many of my patients live close to the primary-care center in Kuwait where I work as a family physician, but the desert heat makes it impossible to come here on foot. Two minutes

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Popping the Question

Mitch Kaminski

Mr. Dwyer isn’t my patient, but today I’m covering for my partner in our family-practice office, so he’s been slipped into my schedule.

Reading his chart, I have an ominous feeling that this visit won’t be simple.

A tall, lanky man with an air of quiet dignity, Mr. Dwyer is eighty-eight. His legs are swollen, and merely talking makes him short of breath.

He suffers from both congestive heart failure

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Community Medicine

Kendra Fleagle Gorlitsky

Are you going to take that long with all the patients?
   Depends. If they’re really sick, I’ll have to.
I’m just saying…there are a lot waiting.
   Well, this one tried to kill herself last year. And today she’s really hurting.

I wanted a full physical, and I heard this is just a check-up, but I’ve been waiting over two hours!
   Could you put this gown on, please. What

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The University Hospital of Somewhere Else

Paula Lyons

July 1. My first day as a family medicine intern, assigned to Labor and Delivery, and my first night on call, 6 pm sharp. Enviously, I watched the other interns smartly packing up to go home.

“See you in the morning–maybe!” they joked.

I glanced at the status board: eight patients in labor.

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The Save

Dan J. Schmidt

I started medical school thinking I wanted to be a family doctor–someone who could work in a small town and deal with whatever walked through the door. But in our third year, when we received our first taste of clinical medicine, I found my surgery and ER rotations exciting. I was at our state’s major trauma center, and I loved it. Fixing things gives me a thrill–and the power to save a

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