The Trust of Our Colleagues

In a recent issue of JAMA, is a short article by Dr. H. Esterbrook Longmaid that describes a moment when the doctor makes a diagnosis of metastatic prostatic cancer in another doctor, who has been a mentor and a teacher. It makes poignant reading.

I am reminded of the number of times I have had to break the news of some disease or the other to a colleague or junior or senior / teacher. So often, these doctors, even though they may not refer patients themselves, choose us because of the faith they have in us…that we will do the best we can when we perform the test, that we will break the news to them in the best possible manner and most importantly, we will maintain confidentiality regarding the results.

Each time a doctor comes to us in this manner, it should be a matter of pride that one of our colleagues who could have gone to anyone, has chosen you or me to come to, over others. And we should do our best to never undermine this trust.

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