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Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures

In my very first job as a doctor, working in a London hospital in the 1980s, I always took a ridiculously detailed past medical history for every patient I saw. I started to notice how many elderly women had had septicemia, a life-threatening infection in which enormous amounts of bacteria enter the bloodstream.

The neighborhood surrounding the hospital had once been the worst slum in London, and it didn’t take me long to guess

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Sharing Secrets

Maria Gervits

“I feel bad…” Amy whispered, then paused.

I’m a family-medicine resident, and I was doing my gynecology rotation, which involved spending a few days at a Planned Parenthood facility. This was my first day. I’d been assigned a patient to shadow: a young woman named Amy, who was here to have a first-trimester abortion.

I’m a fan of Planned Parenthood’s work providing high-quality, affordable contraceptive and gynecological care. In college, when I lost

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A Second Chance

Mitch Kaminski

My patient Maria sits before me, looking vaguely distressed.

She’s returned for a follow-up visit, six weeks after our first. The morning is half over, and I’m clipping along, staying on time, using the new electronic medical record system (EMR) without a glitch and with a sense of satisfaction. Three months back, when I joined this small-town practice as part of my new position as a health-system medical director, I found the EMR

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