April 3, 2010


"The interesting thing about your brother's case is...." Scientists and physicians use that word a lot. I heard it three times in a lecture the other day when a pediatric neurologist was referring to a 15-year old girl. I used it a lot myself. In a sense, it's what drives us to the field in the first place. We find these diseases and the workings of the body fascinating. It's a bit twisted when one thinks about it. We get excited about the unusual and morbidly abnormal. When your brother is on the other end of that word, though, it takes on a whole new meaning. I cringed when I heard him say it and I learned that the patient probably doesn't want to have their disease to be thought of as "interesting". But in the end, it's a good thing because it engages the physician to try to solve the problem. A necessary aspect of life.

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