Each patient’s illness or injury has a unique history or “story”. In obtaining an accurate history, I believe it is important to be an attentive, patient listener. Along with a good history, performing a careful physical examination remains foundational to the practice of medicine. Attention to detail is therefore of critical importance.
Author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle patterned the character of Sherlock Holmes, the consummate detective, after a respected medical school professor renowned for his clinical abilities, especially his keen powers of observation. It was said of this physician that he could often diagnose a patient by observing the person walking down the hallway into the clinic or hospital ward. The practice of medicine, in fact, has many similarities to detective work as physicians piece together “the evidence” from our patients in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Some medical problems are readily apparent while others are true challenging “medical mysteries”.
In an effort to practice high quality medicine, I strive to hone my clinical skills of history taking, physical examination, and synthesis of the data by giving thoughtful attention to my patients. Remaining current or “up to date” in the rapidly changing specialties of hematology and medical oncology requires an ongoing effort to study the extensive medical literature, attend continuing medical education courses and national meetings and consult with colleagues and experts when I don’t have all the answers. I therefore recognize the importance of being not only a practitioner of medicine but also a lifelong student.
Medical College of Wisconsin
Internal Medicine, Hematology, Medical Oncology